DAVIS Surname Meaning and Origin

What Does the Last Name Davis Mean?

The Davis surname means "son of David," a given name that means "beloved."
Getty / Matt Carr

Davis is a common patronymic surname with Welsh origins meaning "son of David," a given name that means "beloved." Davis is the 7th most common surname in America, the 45th most common in England, and the 68th most common in Wales.

Surname Origin: Welsh, English

Alternate Surname Spellings: DAVIES (Welsh), DAVID, DAVIDSON, DAVISON, DAVES, DAWSON, DAWES, DAY, DAKIN

Fun Facts About the Davis Surname

In the United States, Davis is the 7th most common surname, while the Davies variant comes in at 988.

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 With the Davis Surname 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

Genealogy Resources for the Surname DAVIS

100 Most Common U.S. Surnames & Their Meanings
Smith, Johnson, Williams, Jones, Brown...

Are you one of the millions of Americans sporting one of these top 100 common last names from the 2000 census?

Davis Family Crest - It's Not What You Think
Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a coat of arms for the Davis surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families. Coats of arms may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted. 

Davis Surname DNA Study
Join other Davis and Davies males in sorting out the various Davis ancestral lines through Y Chromosome DNA testing.

Davis Family Genealogy Forum
Search this popular genealogy forum for the Davis surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Davis query. There is also a separate forum for the DAVIES variation of the Davis surname.

FamilySearch - DAVIS Genealogy
Access over 23 million free historical records and lineage-linked family trees posted for the Davis surname and its variations on this free genealogy website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

DAVIS Surname & Family Mailing Lists
RootsWeb hosts several free mailing lists for researchers of the Davis surname.

Join a list, or browse or search the list archives to read over a decade of genealogy-related posts about the Davis surname.

DistantCousin.com - DAVIS Genealogy & Family History
Explore free databases and genealogy links for the last name Davis.

The Davis Genealogy and Family Tree Page
Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Davis surname from the website of Genealogy Today.

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References: Surname Meanings & Origins

Cottle, Basil. "Penguin Dictionary of Surnames." Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1967.

Menk, Lars. "A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames." Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2005.

Beider, Alexander. "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia." Bergenfield, NJ: Avotaynu, 2004.

Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. "A Dictionary of Surnames." New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Hanks, Patrick. "Dictionary of American Family Names." New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Hoffman, William F. "Polish Surnames: Origins and Meanings." Chicago: Polish Genealogical Society, 1993.

Rymut, Kazimierz. "Nazwiska Polakow." Wroclaw: Zaklad Narodowy im. Ossolinskich - Wydawnictwo, 1991.

Smith, Elsdon C. "American Surnames." Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.


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