Recorded in the spellings of Gadd, Gadie, and Gaddie, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. It has three distinct possible interpretations. Firstly, it may have originated as an occupational name for a driver of cattle, from the Middle English "gad", meaning to goad or spike and it is said, ultimately from the Old Norse "gaddr". Job-descriptive surnames initially denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Alternatively it may have been given as a nickname given to a persistent and irritating person, and deriving from the same source. The creation of surnames from nicknames was a widespread practice in the Middle Ages, and many modern-day surnames derive from medieval nicknames referring to physical peculiarities, or to habits of dress and behaviour. Finally, in Scotland and Northern England the name may be locational from a place called 'Gadie' in Aberdeenshire. The earliest recordings of the surname come from Somerset, and include Mathew Gad, noted in the first year of Edward 111's reign, whilst Thomas Gadd was entered in the Poll Tax returns of Yorkshire for 1379. Other recordings include in 1586, the marriage of Lawrence Gadd to Alice Armestrong at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, whilst in 1680 John Gadie was recorded at Milne, Scotland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is that of John Gad, which was dated 1327, in the "Exchequer Lay Subsidy Rolls of Somerset". Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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