This interesting and unusual name with variant spellings Doddemeede and Dodamead, is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the lost village phenomenon.The placename, believed to be located in either Wiltshire or Somerset is composed of the Medieval personal name "Dodde", "Dudde", from the Old English "Dodda", "Dudda", frequent in England up to 14th Century, (which may come from a Germanic root meaning "rotund") and the second element "mead", an archaic and poetic word for meadow. Recordings of the surname from the London church registers include; James, son of William and Sarah Doddemeade who was christened on May 30th 1790 at St. Mary, St. Marylebone Rd.; on December 15th 1793, John, son of John and Mary Doddemeade was christened at the same place; and Ann Doddemead married Richard Jennings on November 27th 1806 at St. Pancras, Old Church. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Dodemeede, which was dated January 29th 1559, married Willem Stevens at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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