This most interesting surname, with the modern variants Dudderidge, Dodridge, Dottridge, Dutteridge, 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 original place name was located in Devonshire or some south-west county and was composed of the initial element "dod", hill or the medieval personal name "Dudda", plus the second Old English element "hrycg", ridge, hence "the ridge on the hill" or "Dudda's ridge". John, son of Richard and Joan Doddridge was baptised at South Molton, Devonshire in 1555, while Jone, son of William Dodridge was christened at St. Mary Major, Devonshire on February 9th 1563. One Elizabetha Dodrudge married Johannes Soper at Bovey Tracey, Devonshire on January 18th 1564, while here also a Gracia Dodrudge, possibily a sister, married Henricus Soper, may be a brother of Johannes above on January 23rd 1567. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Doderige, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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