The Dickson Dixon One Name Study

Dickson Dixon One Name Study


About the Dickson One-Name Study

The Dickson-Dixon One-Name was registered with the Guild of One Name Studies in October 2013. Like many one-name studies, it grew out of an attempt to trace my own ancestry.


The registered variants of the name are Dixon and Dicson.

There are many other spellings which are considered to be relevant. These will be considered as they crop up in research.

Origin of the surname

The Dickson surname is a patronymic one, i.e. it is formed from the name of the father and the gender of the offspring. in this case it is Dick's son, Dick being a nickname for Richard and perhaps a corruption of the diminutive Rick.

One line of the Dickson name has it's beginnings in the 13th century, probably in Lanarkshire, Scotland. In this case the father "Dick" is Richard de Keith, his son Thomas becoming the first Dicson (as spelled in the first recording of the name).

This Dickson line had very close Clan connections with the Keith and Douglas families and is considered a sept of both clans, although the Dicksons became a clan in their own right and featured as one of the Border Reiver families.

Thomas Dickson was Laird of Hazelside and Symington, later being raised to the Baronecy of Symington. His offspring moved from southern Lanarkshire into neighbouring borderlands counties of Scotland and eventually over the border into Northumberland and Cumberland with the spelling often changing to Dixon in England.

Branches of the Dickson-Dixon family moved further afield, creating clusters of the Dixon name in other parts of England and Ireland.

Although the above is the most recorded and documented origin of the Dickson-Dixon name, it has to be recognised that the possibility exists for other, non-related, Dickson or Dixon families.

Historical occurrences

There have been Dicksons or Dixons in significant positions over the ages. These include those quoted as being from the original Dickson family who had links with Scottish nobility, fought for Scottish heroes Robert the Bruce and William Wallace, and held positions of responsibility in Scotland, both when it was an independent country and when it joined with England to become the United Kingdom.

Some of these notable Dicksons are covered in the area of the website History of the Dickson Dixon Name.

Frequency of the name

The website Surnames of England and Wales - the ONS List tells us that in September 2002, in Engaldn, Wales and the Isle of Mann, there were 58866 people with the Dixon surname and 10738 people with the Dickson surname. The same website also gave the following results for a search under DI*SON

DICCONSON  10  =143714
 DICKASON  161  =24483
 DICKENSON  2700  2844
 DICKERSON  2165  =3436
 DICKESON  200  =21314
 DICKINSON  24226  284
 DICKISON  59  =45944
 DICKSON  10738  704
 DISON  14  =114673
 DISSON  96  =33994
 DITSON  5  =230412
 DIXON-DAWSON  12  =127230
 DIXON-PATTERSON  5  =230412
 DIXON-WILKINSON  7  =182958
 DIXSON  285  =16947

Following is a breakdown of the number of births registered in Scotland for the surnames Dickson and Dixon (source: Scotland's People)



Distribution of the name

How one perceives the distribution of the Dickson-Dixon name in the United Kingdom depends to some extent on which political boundaries are used to determine the information.

In Scotland, using the old County Council boundary areas give a false impression of where the names were most prevalent. This is due to a county such as Lanarkshire including the highly populated "Second City of the Empire" within its boundaries while Border counties were smaller in both geographical area and population.

By using the current political boundaries, the author believes the incidence and spread of the name can be better appreciated.

Distribution of the Dickson name in the United Kingdom

In the above comparision charts, the usage of the original Dickson form of the name in Scotland in 1881 is clearly shown and displays the significant presentation of the name in the eastern Scottish border and Lothians areas. The 1998 distribution continues to show a significant distribution of the name in parts of the Lothians as well as coast to coast across the Scottish borders areas.

Dixon name distributionin the United Kingdom

The high proportion of the Dixon name appearing in the English northern counties in 1881 is clearly displayed while the 1998 distribution of the Dixon name continues to show a large distribution in the northern counties of England.

International Distribution

Internationally, Public Profiler shows that the UK continues to be home to the Dixon name with large numbers also to be found in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and Ireland.

The Dickson name, however, is stronger in Australia and New Zealand than in the UK with again significant popualtions in Canada, the United States and Ireland.

Although all the foregoing are English speaking countries, both forms of the name appear in places such as Denmark, Switzerland and Spain with the Dixon form also found in France and the Dickson form in Sweden.

There are also presentations of the name, under both spellings, in Argentina, India and China.



[coming soon]


Contact details

For further information,




Associated Web Page

This page is associated with Profile Page for the Dickson One Name Study on the Guild of One Name Studies website