Joe Adair's Web Site: Adair history and genealogy

Origin of Dodd

Dodd is a very old Anglo-Saxon name, predating the conquest of 1066. The name first appeared in Cheshire with some of that surname owning manors and estates. There are many variations of Dodd including Dudda, Dudd, Dodds, Dowde, Deeds as well as Dodd. The Anglo-Saxon chronicle which recorded important events by year mentions the Dudda variation of the Dodd name. The chronicle entry for the year A.D. 833 records the death of one Dudda who was an alderman.
"A.D. 833. This year fought King Egbert with thirty-five pirates at Charmouth, where a great slaughter was made, and the Danes remained masters of the field. Two bishops, Hereferth and Wigen, and two aldermen, Dudda and Osmod, died the same year."

An obsolete spelling of alderman is Ealdorman. Its original meaning becomes more obvious as elder man. Such a man was not only elder in the sense of age, but also wisdom, hence ealdor. He had far more importance than the alderman of today. In Anglo-Saxon times, he would be a nobleman, having as well as civil authority and being the principal judiciary officer, the military leadership of his shire. The sheriff reported to the alderman. He was appointed by the King and had a share of the taxes and fines of the shire. The office was for life, but could be revoked for serious crimes such as treason. He was chosen from among the most wealthy, powerful nobles and had a seat in the witenagemot or government. Aldermen lost much of their power with the Danish King Cnut's take over of England in 1014.

Our ancestor chose Dodd to describe the Cheshire land he came from. Dodd means "rounded summit".