Recorded in many spellings including Coldridge, Coleridge, Coldrick, Couldridge and others, and much associated with the famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge of Oteery St Mary, in Devonshire, this is an English surname. It is pre medieval in origin, and residential. It derives from the pre 7th century word "col", meaning charcoal, and "hrycg", a ridge, hence "The ridge where charcoal was made". No such place seems to exist or indeed has existed in the past three centuries, but this is not unusual, at least three thousand surnames of the British Isles originate from places which are now totally lost, and more are discovered almost on a daily basis. The surname dates back to the 13th century (see below), and other early recordings include Richard de Colrugge in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Berkshire in 1273, Edward and Elizabeth Coleridge, who were christening witnesses on March 13th 1687 at St. James Clerkenwell, in the city of London, and Sarah Colridge, who married William Pearce on April 21st 1799 at St. George's in the East, Stepney. During the Middle Ages, when it was increasingly common for people to migrate from their birthplace to seek work further afield the custom developed that they would adopt their place of origin as a means of identification. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Crispianus de Colrigge. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Devonshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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