Recorded as Badgood, Bedgood, Bedggood, Bidgod, Bidgood and Bidegood, this is an English surname. It is medieval and is believed to originate mainly from the counties of Somerset and Devon in the West Country. It derives from the phrase 'by god,' and as such was a nickname given either to a person who used the expression continually, or perhaps one who was a godly person, or even given the robust humour of the Middle Ages, the complete opposite! What is certain is that the name was well founded in the county of Devon, with the Bidgoods of Rockbeare being granted arms in 1690, for their support of William of Orange, later William 111rd (1689 - 1702) after he landed his invasion forces close by at Brixham. The arms have the unique blazon of a silver field, with a blue chief charged with a gold tortoise. The tortoise is believed to mean that the family gave William sound and steady support at a critical time of the invasion, when the higher aristocracy hung back. Examples of the surname recording include Nicholas Bidgood, who married Elizabeth Dabbes at St Brides church, Fleet Street, London on September 1st 1594, Nicholas Bidgod, who was granted a licence to marry Alice Howe at Westminster in 1606, and Joseph Bedgood, married at the church of St Dunstans in East, Stepney, on May 10th 1749. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Biggegode. This was dated 1273, in Kirby's Rolls of the West Country, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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