This interesting surname is of Old French origin, introduced into England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be a topographical name for someone who lived by a water channel, from the Old French, Middle English "cond(u)it", from the Late Latin "conductus", a derivative of "conducere", to lead. Originally this was an artificial channel or pipe for conveying water, later a structure from which water was distributed, a fountain or pump. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. William atte Conduit is noted in the 1340 Assize Rolls of Cambridgeshire. Secondly, the surname may be locational from any one of the places called Conde in France, for example in Nord, Oise and Orne. Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their village or place of origin to settle elsewhere. Aliz de Condi is listed in 1184 Records of the Knights Templars, Lincolnshire, and Nicholas Cundy is noted in the 1200 Pipe Rolls of Lincolnshire. In the modern idiom the surname has many variant spellings ranging from Condy, Cundy, Condie and Cundey, to Candey, Candie and Candy. On January 31st 1551, John Candye married Helene Fyssher at St. Stephan's, Coleman Street, London, and Ralphe Candy married Basill Cummyn on November 25th 1563, at Allhallows, London Wall, also in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Cundi, which was dated 1150, in the "Chartulary of the Abbey of Rievaulx", during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. 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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