Recorded as Duddridge, Dudderidge, Dodridge, Dottridge, Dutteridge, and probably others, this is an ancient surname. It is locational from a "lost" medieval village probably called Doderige, since that is the spelling in the first name recording (see below). It is estimated that some three thousand villages and hamlets have disappeared from the maps of Britain over the past thousand years. The main cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced clearing and dispersal of former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Great Plagues between 1348 and 1666 also played their part as has urbanisation, coastal erosion, and war. The original village was probably located in Devonshire and was composed of "dod", meaning a hill and "hrycg", a ridge, hence "the ridge on the hill." . Early examples of recordings include John Doddridge who was baptised at South Molton, Devonshire in 1555, while Jone Dodridge was christened at St. Mary Major, Devonshire on February 9th 1563. Elizabetha Dodrudge married Johannes Soper at Bovey Tracey, Devonshire on January 18th 1564, whilst Gracia Dodrudge, her sister, married Henricus Soper, the brother of Johannes, on January 23rd 1567. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Doderige. This was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Devonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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