What is the origin of the last name Davidson?

The last name Davidson is of Scottish origin and is derived from the patronymic form of David, a popular given name in Scotland. The name David itself comes from the Hebrew name Dawidh, meaning "beloved" or "darling." As a patronymic surname, Davidson signifies "son of David" and has a strong genealogical connection to individuals or families with David as an ancestor. Over time, the name Davidson has spread beyond Scotland, particularly in English-speaking countries, as a result of migration and the diaspora of Scottish families.

Countries of origin for the last name Davidson

The last name Davidson is of Scottish origin, derived from the patronymic form of the given name David. The name David is a Hebrew name meaning “beloved” or “friend.” As a surname, Davidson signifies “son of David.” The surname is commonly found in Scotland and has been carried to various parts of the world with Scottish emigration.

The Davidson surname can be traced back to the 13th century in Scotland. It originated as a way to identify individuals as the offspring of someone named David. In medieval times, patronymic surnames were often used to distinguish between people with the same given name. The usage of surnames became more widespread in Scotland during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Throughout history, the Davidson name has been linked to numerous notable individuals. One prominent figure is John Davidson (1549-1604), a Scottish poet and minister. He is known for his religious poetry and was a significant figure in the Scottish Renaissance. Another notable Davidson is William Davidson (1781-1820), an American slave rebel who was involved in planning an unsuccessful uprising to liberate slaves in Richmond, Virginia.

The distribution of the Davidson surname is primarily concentrated in English-speaking countries. In the United States, the surname is particularly prevalent in states such as North Carolina, Tennessee, and Kentucky. This is likely due to the substantial Scottish migration to these regions in the past.

The popularity of the Davidson surname can also be reflected in its frequency in contemporary society. According to a study conducted by Forebears, there are approximately 125,000 bearers of the Davidson surname worldwide, with the majority residing in the United States.

Like many surnames, the meaning of Davidson has evolved over time and has become associated with diverse individuals and families with their unique histories. It serves as a reminder of the ancestral roots of those who bear the name, connecting them to the rich tapestry of Scotland’s cultural heritage.

While the known facts about the Davidson surname provide a solid foundation for understanding its origins and significance, there are always possibilities for further research and discovery. Delving deeper into specific family lineages and regional variations could unravel even more intriguing insights into the history of this surname and the people who bear it.

Interesting facts about the last name Davidson

  • The surname Davidson is of Scottish origin and is derived from the given name David, which means “beloved” or “friend” in Hebrew.
  • Davidson is a patronymic surname, meaning it was originally formed by adding the suffix -son (meaning “son of”) to the given name David. Therefore, Davidson means “son of David.”
  • The Davidson surname is quite common in Scotland and can be traced back to the 13th century.
  • The Davidson clan is one of the largest clans in Scotland and has its own tartan and clan crest.
  • Davidson is a popular surname in English-speaking countries and has numerous variants and spellings, including Davison, Davidsen, Davids, and Davisson.
  • Many notable individuals bear the surname Davidson, including notable politicians, scholars, athletes, and entrepreneurs.
  • One famous Davidson is the late Dr. Emily Stowe, who was the first female physician to practice in Canada and a prominent suffragist.
  • The surname Davidson has also been adapted into other languages, such as Swedish (Davidsson) and Norwegian (Davidsen).
  • There are various places named Davidson around the world, including a town in North Carolina, United States, which is named after Brigadier General William Lee Davidson.
  • The name Davidson has been used in popular culture, including in literature, music, and film.

Name Rank


There are around 103930 people with the last name Davidson in the US

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