Last name: Twiddy

This is a famous Scottish territorial surname, although also recorded in Ireland, but of Scottish origin. Recorded in the spellings of Tweedie and Tweedy, with the 'English' forms Twiddy and Twidey, the name derives from the lands of Tweedie in the parish of Stonehouse (Lanarkshire). Legend has it that the first of the name holders was the child of a water spirit residing in the River Tweed, which is a nice story but rather out of keeping with public perception of the clan. The tribe were renowned for being a savage race, much given to the inter-tribal warfare which raged in Scotland and the Borders throughout the middle ages, much of it being as a result of land claims. The Tweedies possessed the lands of Drummelzier for over three hundred years c.1320 to 1625, eventually losing them in the reign of Charles 1st, when they were disposed for continual lawlessness of which the following is a fair example! James Twedy of Drummelzier murdered James Geddes 'within the burgh of Edinburgh' on December 29th 1592, the Tweedies having a particularly violent feud against the Geddesses. In 1715 the Tweedies of Drummelzier were described by historian Pennecuik as 'once being a powerful and domineering family, now quite extinct'. By which he meant that they had been driven from that region. Examples of the recordings include James de Twedy at Dalkeith in 1390, and in London Ann Twiddy, christened at St Margarets, Westminster, on December 1st 1629. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Finlay de Twydyn, which was dated 1296, the ancient records of the kingdom of Scotland, during the reign of King John Balliol, of Scotland, 1292-1296. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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