The Scottish, English and Irish surname Dawson is of patronymic origin meaning son of or descendant of Daw. The personal name Daw is an English and Scottish pet form of David. In Britain the popularity of the name was increased by the fame of St. David, the patron saint of Wales, and by the fact that it was borne by two kings of Scotland. The form as Dawe first appears in the county of Lancashire in 1212, with the patronymic Daweson emerging in the early 14th Century. Richard Dawson, aged 31 yrs., who embarked from London on the ship "Phillip" bound for Virginia, in June 1635, was an early settler in America. The Dawsons have been prominent in Ireland from Elizabethan times; those who settled in Ulster became Earls of Cremorne and Dartrey. Another family acquired large estates in Laois, and a 3rd gained possession of the Glen of Aherlow, in Co. Tipperary, hence, the appellation Dawson's Table in connection with Galtee mountain. Today there are almost 81,000 people with the surname Dawson resident in The United States.
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