Origin, Meaning, Family History and Dawkins Coat of Arms and Family Crest
The surname Dawkins originated from the Welsh nickname “Daw” a derivitive of the Hebrew name David which translates to “beloved”. The name immigrated to Europe by way of France. French soldiers returning from the Crusades in the Holy Lands imported the Hebrew given name upon their return. The name came to England after the Norman invasion where it took on the more Anglicized styling.
Surnames throughout history have found their origins in a variety of sources. Some of the earliest evolved from the addition of a parent’s name to a person’s given name. People were also known to add the location of the region, town, or village where they were born or lived. The addition of an occupation or defining physical or character trait also was put into use as well.
As with most surnames, there exists variations in the spelling including but not limited too; Dawkins; Deaken; Deakens; Daykin; Daykins; and Daken among others. The variations in spelling of surnames dating back to antiquity can be attributed to a high illiteracy rate among the general population as well as a lack of consistency regarding guidelines for spelling in use by those who were literate including the scribes charged with the task of record keeping. This was compounded by the fact that many of the scribes were in the habit of spelling phonetically, what may have sounded on way to one person may have sounded completely different to another.
The use of surnames in Europe prior to and into the middle ages was primarily a practice of the noble class. However, as the smaller villages and communities gave way to larger towns and cities, surnames were found to serve as more than just a distinction between classes, they served a more practical purpose. Surnames made it easier to distinguish one person from another and it also allowed for a more reliable method of tracking people for census, tax, and immigration records. One of the first recordings of any variation of the name, Richard Daukyns, is found in the Staffordshire tax rolls dated 1354. The tax rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of King Edward III, some of which are over 700 years old, dating back to the 12th century.
After the founding of the Americas and the addition of countries to the British Commonwealth such as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand immigration began occur in greater volume than ever before. One of the first immigrants to America were Joseph Dawkins who landed and settled in Maryland in 1656. William Dawkins arrived in Canada and settled in Nova Scotia in 1783. John and Ann Dawkins along with their son Samuel arrived in Adelaide, Australia in 1839 and Ellen Dawkins arrived and settled in Wellington, New Zealand in 1873.
Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Dawkins are found in the United Kingdom, Australia, the United States, New Zealand, and Canada. By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Dawkins live in South Carolina, Alabama, Alaska, Mississippi, and North Carolina.
There are many persons of note who bear the surname Dawkins. Sir Clinton Edwards Dawkins was an English businessman and civil servant. Dawkins served as the private secretary to George Goschen, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the head of HRM’s Treasury and one of the Great Offices of State in HRM’s Treasury. He also served as the undersecretary for finance in Egypt, and in 1899 he served as financial adviser to the Governor-General of India, Lord Curzon.
After leaving India, John Pierpont (J.P.) Morgan, the American international financier and banker, offered Dawkins a full partnership in the London branch of his merchant banking firm J.S.Morgan & Co. which he accepted and where Dawkins remained until his death.
In recognition of his work in banking and his chairing a Committee to review the Administration of the War Office, Dawkins was made Knight Companion of the Order of Bath in 1901 and was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Bath in 1902.
Dawkins Coat of Arms Meaning
The four main devices (symbols) in the Dawkins blazon are the rose, lion, flaunch and axe. The four main tinctures (colors) are gules, or, argent and sable.
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.1The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 7Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 9A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 10Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 11The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.
Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 12A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262. The rose is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It has long been present in English heraldry, and as a badge and symbol played an enormous in English history throughout the conflict between rival dynasties known as the War of the Roses. In addition to these familial uses, Wade suggests that red roses signify “beauty and grace” and the white represents “love and faith”. 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P132-133
The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 14A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 15Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 16Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 17A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 18The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.
There are a number of major, simple and easily recognisable shapes and big patterns that are known as ordinaries. 19A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Ordinaries The flaunch (or more properly flaunches as they are always in pairs) is a interesting example of the type, being a shape curving inwards from edge vertical edge, each reaching about one third of the distance across. 20A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Flaunch Wade’s researchs into the symbology of heraldry leads him to conclude that they represent a “reward given for virtue and learning”. 21The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P52