This most interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Eridge in Sussex, which was recorded as "Ernerigg" in the Feet of Fines of Sussex in 1202. The placename itself is composed of the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "earn", eagle, as in Earnley (eagle's wood), and "hrycg", a ridge, as in Ridgeacre (field on a ridge); hence, the placename means "eagle's ridge". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job-seeking was becoming more common, people often used their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the surname. There is also a place called Eridge Green near Tunbridge Wells in East Sussex. The first recorded namebearer (see below) is found on a list of taxpayers in Eastbourne who paid one eleventh of the value of their movable goods to help King Edward 1 in his war against Robert the Bruce in Scotland. Joan Eredge married Edmund Lovelesse on February 9th 1560 at Cranbrook in Kent, and John Erridge married Francis Maddox at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, London, on September 23rd 1616. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Erridge (no personal name given), which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex", during the reign of King Henry 111, 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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