This ancient surname is English. It has three possible origins. The first is from the Olde English pre 7th century personal name 'Aedelric', meaning 'noble power' or similar. The second is locational either from the town of Aldridge in the county of Staffordshire or from Aldridge Grove in Buckinghamshire. A third possibility is from a now 'lost' medieval village, known to have existed near the city of Worcester. The original personal name was composed of the elements 'adel' meaning noble and '-ric' a ruler, and it is hardly surprising that in ancient times it was one of the most popular of given names. This affection was transferred into the later 12th century surname, although how many nameholders in the 21st century originate from the personal name, and how many from former residence at one of the places called Aldridge is not known. The place names do derive from the Old English words 'ale wic', translating as 'the farm (wic) amongst the alder trees', and the Staffordshire town, then a single farm, is also recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Spellings of the surname include Aldrich, Aldrick, Aldridge, Allridge, Alldridge, Allderidge, Elderidge, Eldridge, Elrick, Oldridge, and Arlidge. The name, as a given name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 in the spellings of Ailred, Aldret and Eldred, whilst early examples of the surname include Richardus Alurici, in the charters of Warwickshire in the year 1209, Robert Alrych in the former county of Huntingdonshire in 1279, and William Eldrich in Surrey in 1336. Drogo de Alrewic in the Pipe Rolls of Stafford for the year 1202, most certainly originated from the town. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Aelrici, which was dated 1095, in the rolls of the abbey of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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