An English and Irish surname, the Dawson family name means son of David.
The earliest Dawson families lived in Cumbria and the spelling ranged from Dawe and Daweson.
Additional spelling forms of Dawson are Dawe, Dawes and Daweson.
Many Dawson families left England during the 18th and 19th centuries to resettle in the United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
In England the greater number of Dawson families live in Yorkshire, Lancashire, Kent, Suffolk, Cornwall, Devon and Essex counties.
In Scotland, many Dawson families live in the Wester Isles, Aberdeenshire, Lanarkshire, Angus and Banffshire counties.
The states of Texas, California, Georgia, Ohio, New York, Indiana and Illinois within the United States have the primarily listings of the Dawson surname.
Famous: Anthony Dawson (actor from Scotland), Dermontti Dawson (professional football player), Geoffrey Dawson (editor of The Times), Henry B. Dawson (historian), Joe Dawson (race car driver), Margaret Dawson (early pioneer and settler in Australia), Ossie Dawson (cricket player in South Africa), Richard Dawson (actor) and William L. Dawson (music composer).