This interesting and unusual surname is of medieval Welsh origin, and derives from the personal name "Bedo", itself a hypocoristic form of the Old Welsh male given name "Maredudd", of which the first element is believed to mean "pomp, splendour", and the second is "udd", lord. This distinguished forename was borne by Maredudd ab Owain who lived in the 10th Century; he was the grandson of Hywel Ddda, Prince of all Wales. Maredudd ap Rhys Gryg (flourished 1271) was prince of south-west Wales. The wide difference in form between "Maredudd" and "Beddo" is attributed to a child's attempt to pronounce the former, with the interchange of the "b" and "m" consonants, and an adult's subsequent imitation of same. In Welsh genealogical records (Bartrum and Clark, 1350 - 1415), "Bedo ap Ieuan Gethin ab Einion Llwyd" occurs also as "maredudd", and two references are made to "Bedo alias Meredith". Surnames derived from given names are the oldest and most pervasive surname type, and in vernacular naming traditions (as distinct from religious), names were originally composed of vocabulary elements of the local language, and no doubt bestowed for their auspicious connotations. In 1537, one Rice ap Hoell Beddo was noted in records of Carmarthenshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David Bedo, which was dated 1540, in "Wills Records of Radnorshire", Wales, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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