This unusual and interesting name is of Medieval English origin and is a topographical surname denoting someone who lived near to a water channel and perhaps therefore by a fountain or a pump. The derivation of the name is from the Middle English "Conduit, Condit or Cundit", from the Olde French "Conduit". It meant originally an artificial channel or pipe for conveying water, but was later used to describe a structure from which water was distributed, such as a fountain or pump, or an aqueduct. The name development has included "William atte Conduit" (1340, Cheshire) and "Walter atte Condut", (1342, Essex). There are a number of modern variations of the surname, ranging from "Conduit and Condict" to "Cundict, Cudiff and Cundy", the latter being a peculiarly Yorkshire form. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert atte Conduyt, which was dated 1334, in the "Calendar of Letter Books of the City of London", during the reign of King Edward 111, "Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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