First names used to be sufficient in small communities since it was easy to identify people, but as communities expanded and spread, the need for a surname grew. Surnames like Dickerson have been derived from all types of sources throughout time. These names come from physical traits, occupations, regions, nicknames and other kinds of information.
What does the Dickerson surname mean?
The name Dickerson has English and Scottish roots. It’s derived from the first name “Richard,” which is originally German and means “powerful” or “brave.” It’s very popular in Britain, with three kings bearing the name. At some point, Richard was shortened to “Dick,” similar to the other short form of “Rick.” Centuries ago, “son’” was also added to the end of a name to mean the person was the “son of.” With Richard, the sons were usually called “Dickson” or “Dickieson.” Multiple name variations were very common in the past, and these names could change into Dickinson, Dickeson and Dickenson.
Origin and background
According to Ancestry records, Dickerson is an English name that was found in the U.K., Scotland, the U.S. and Canada between the years 1840 and 1920. The name was first found in the county of Lancashire, North West England, and it was listed in a record that spelled it as “Dicconson.”
Between 1840 and 1880, the highest population of Dickerson families was in the U.S. and, more specifically, New York. This was likely due to the mass immigration of English families to the New World in search of a better life and opportunities. Some of these settlers across the centuries included Ffeleaman Dickerson (arrived in New England, 1637), William Dickerson (Pennsylvania, 1775), S. H. Dickerson (California, 1851) and Annie E. Dickerson (1911). Most of the people who had this name as of 1940 were farmers, maids, laborers and cooks.
How popular is Dickerson?
Crests were a significant part of a family’s legacy from the 11th to 17th centuries. Crests, or coats of arms, were usually only for prestigious families and communicated the past and present achievements of the family. The Dickerson family crest is blue and white and communicates nobility, military honor and courage.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Dickerson is the 659th most popular name in the U.S. and there are 51,889 residents with the surname.
Prominent figures with this name
Some earlier, prominent figures with this surname include:
- Lewis Pessano “Buttercup” Dickerson (1858-1920), a Major League Baseball outfielder
- Dudley Henry Dickerson Jr. (1906-1968), an American film actor
- Nancy Dickerson (1927-1997), a famous American journalist
- Walter Roland Dickerson (1928-2008), an American jazz vibraphone player
- Capitola “Cappie” Leodra Dickerson (1913-2012), a popular American piano instructor
- George Graf Dickerson, Jr. (1933-2015), an American actor, writer and poet
More recent figures include:
- Former American professional football player Eric Dickerson
- American baseball player Alex Dickerson
- American bodybuilder Chris Dickerson
- Australian painter Robert Dickerson
- American screenwriter, cinematographer and director Ernest Dickerson
- American guitarist and singer, Desmond “Dez” D’andrea Dickerson