Recorded as Ded, Dede, Dade, Dide, Didde, Dyde, Deed, and the patronymics Deedes and Deeds, this is a surname of Old English origins. It is pre 7th century and derives from the word 'daed' meaning deed, given to a person who performed a special deed or exploit, probably of a warlike nature. The name is rare in a number of respects, but particularly because it is one of the few true Anglo-Saxon and probably pagan names, which one way or another survived not only the Norman-French Conquest of England in 1066, but in particular the 12th century Christian renaisance. At this time, from about the year 1200, it became politically correct to adopt Hebrew and Greek names associated with the Bible, and specifically the famous Crusades to free the Holy Land. All twelve in fact failed! Early recordings include Thomas Dade of Wakefield in Yorkshire in 1275, and Agnes Dyde of Whatcote in Warwickshire, christened there on November 11th 1588. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Richard Ded. This was dated 1195, in the Pipe Rolls of Berkshire, during the reign of King Richard Ist known as 'The Lionheart,' 1189-1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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