Recorded in a number of spellings including Deadmesh, Dudmarsh and Dudmesh, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates either from the village of Dodmarsh in the county of Herefordshire, or the village of Dodnash in Suffolk, or possibly from some now "lost" medieval village. The translation of the placenames, and hence the surname, would seem to be Dudda's marsh although it may be Dudda's ash. In either case Dudda was a popular English personal name of the pre Norman times before 1066, and is now found in the surname Dodd or Dodds. As to whether the suffix was originally "maes" for marsh or "ash" as in the ash tree, renowned in ancient times for its magical properties, is unclear. The first recording of a placename is that of the Suffolk village in the year 1188, when it appears in the Pipe Rolls of the county as Dodnessa, which would appear to imply Dudda's maes or marsh. The surname recordings are rare, and the greatest concentration seem to be found in the diocese of Greater London, and even then at the end of the 18th century. These recordings include Cornelius Deadmash who married Elisabeth Everett at St Leonards church, Shoreditch, on August 4th 1777, Elizabeth Dudmarsh, who married Robert Young at St Lawrence Jewry in the city of London, on September 11th 1796, and finally Henry Dudmesh, the father of Mary Dudmesh, at the church of St George in the East, Stepney, on June 14th 1807.
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