Humanities › History & Culture Davis Surname Meaning and Origin Share Flipboard Email Print NBC Television/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated May 01, 2019 Davis is the 8th most common surname in America and one of the 100 most common last names in both England and Wales. Surname Origin: Welsh, English Alternate Surname Spellings: Davies (Welsh), David, Davidson, Davison, Daves, Dawson, Dawes, Day, Dakin What Does Davis Mean? Davis is a common patronymic surname with Welsh origins meaning "son of David," a given name that means "beloved." Fun Facts In the United States, Davis is one of the ten most common surnames. The variant Davies, however, is barely in the top 1,000 most common last names. In Great Britain, this surname popularity is reversed. There, Davies is the 6th most common surname overall, while Davis is the 45th most common surname. Where Do People Named Davis Live? According to WorldNames PublicProfiler, the Davis surname is most commonly found in the United States, especially in the southern states of Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee. It is also a common surname in Australia, the United Kingdom (especially southern England), New Zealand, and Canada. Forebears ranks Davis as the 320th most common surname in the world, with the highest numbers found in Jamaica, Anguilla, and the Bahamas, followed by the U.S., Liberia, and Australia. Famous People with the Surname Davis Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.Miles Davis, influential American jazz artist.Angela Davis, political philosopher and Black power activist.Captain Howell Davis, Welsh pirate.Sammy Davis Jr., American entertainer.General Benjamin O. Davis, leader of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II.William Morris Davis, father of American geography. Sources Beider, Alexander. "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia." Avotaynu, June 1, 2004. Cottle, Basil. "The Penguin Dictionary of Surnames." (Penguin Reference Books), Paperback, 2nd Edition, Puffin, August 7, 1984. "Davis Surname Definition." Forebears, 2012. Hanks, Patrick. "A Dictionary of Surnames." Flavia Hodges, Oxford University Press, February 23, 1989. Hanks, Patrick. "Dictionary of American Family Names." 1st Edition, Oxford University Press, May 8, 2003. Hoffman, William F. "Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings." First Edition, Polish Genealogical Society, June 1, 1993. Menk, Lars. "A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames." Hardcover, Bilingual edition, Avotaynu, May 30, 2005. Rymut, Kazimierz. "Nazwiska Polakow." Hardcover, Zaklad Narodowy im. Ossolińskich, 1991. Smith, Elsdon Coles. "American Surnames." 1st Edition, Chilton Book Co, June 1, 1969.