Recorded in several spelling forms including De Medde, Demead, Demaid and possibly De Mee and Demme, this interesting surname is French, and in England of Huguenot protestant emigrant origins. It is believed to be locational from a place called St Medd in France, the placename itself commemorating an early saint called Medard, the bishop of Vermandois in the 7th century. Between the years 1580 and 1750 it is estimated that over fifty thousand French protestants fled to the British Isles to escape catholic persecution.. They were particularly welcomed in many areas of the country as they were often skilled artisans, who introduced silk making, fine woollens, and quality glass manufacture, all skills unknown on this side of the Channel. In the case of this surname the "development" appears to have commenced with Pierre de Medde and his wife Susanna, whose son Jacques and daughter Elizabeth were both christened at the French church, known as La Patente, in London in 1706. This Elizabeth de Medde married Paul Grou at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, in 1726, although rather confusingly only four years later according to surviving records, in 1730 we have the marriage of Susan Demaid to John Shaw. Was Susan Demaid related to Elizabeth de Medde? Other recordings of the same period include John Demme, who married Anna Clarke at St Benets by St Pauls, London, on March 6th 1722, and Samuel Demead, who was a witness at St Luke's church, Finsbury, on December 15th 1751.
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