This interesting and unusual name is of English locational origin from a place thus called south west of Stroud in East Gloucestershire. Recorded as Dodebrugge in early charters of that county dated 1292, the first element of the name is the old English pre 7th Century personal byname Dodda, from a Germanic root meaning "rotund", plus the old English "brycg", (old High German "brucca"), a bridge; hence, "Dodda's bridge". The surname is particularly well recorded in Gloucestershire church registers from the late 16th Century. On September 8th 1572 Thomas Dudbrige and Annys Bullocke were married in Elmore, on November 22nd 1581 Margery Dudbridge married a Thomas Smith in Minchinhampton. The christening of Henrie Dudbridge took place in Woodchester on April 25th 1591, and on July 20th 1604 William Dudbridge and Alice Hunt were married in Bisley, Gloucestershire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Christofer Dudbridge, (marriage to Catherene Grange), which was dated August 18th 1572, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, 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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