The famous Victorian etymologist, Canon Charles Bardsey had no doubt about the origins of this unusual surname. He described it as meaning 'the son of Frethmund', and being first recorded in Kent, this does not seem to be correct. the surname Fiddy, with variants Fido and Fidoe, is also claimed by Bardsey to be from the Olde English 'Friswid' but the late Professor Reaney declares it to be French, and a dialectal derivative of 'fitz deu', a loose phrase which translates as the 'son of god'! Reaney does not attempt to explain 'Fiddyment' (in its various spellings) at all, which is surprising as Fiddyment, Fiddymont, Fiddament, and the more usual Fiddeman or Fiddiman, are quite popular in Norfolk, although seemingly only in that area. It is our opinion based on access to records that were not available to other researchers, that the name (however spelt) may have a French origin from 'fitz deu', but if so we incline to the view that it is a theatrical name for one who either played the part of the 'Son of God' or possibly was the friend (-man) of 'Fitz deu', and possibly a pilgrim. Early records are confused in their spellings, and this in itself makes objective assessment difficult. These recordings include Margaret Fidiman, christened at St Georges Church, Colegate, Norwich, on September 19th 1542, Robert Fiddymont, a witness at St Peters Southgate, Norwich, on December 1st 1576, and Robert Fiddiman, at St Bendicts, Norwich, on April 13th 1606. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Fydymont, which was dated 1470, the rector of the parish of Shelton, Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1V, of England, reigned 1461 - 1483. 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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