Recorded as Gadney, Gedney, Gidney and Godney, this is an English surname. It is locational from a village and parish called Gedney in the county of Lincolnshire. This translates as 'Gadd's island,' from a combination of the pre 7th century personal name 'Gadd', and '-eg', an island. This was probably not an island in the true sense, but a piece of dry land in a marsh. From about the 14th century mainly Dutch engineers who knew a thing or two about land drainage and dykes, were employed for several centuries to drain the flatlands of England. As a result many areas which had previously provided inland fishing, were dried up, and the inhabitants who had made their livng out of the fishing, were forced to find new homes and employment. Most had no choice but to move away from the area. London then as now, was often the chosen place as it was famously believed to have streets 'paved in gold', and the mecca and refuge of the disinherited. Early examples of recordings include Hervey de Gedney of Lincolnshire in the Hundred Rolls of landowners in 1273, whilst far away and later Dorothie Gidney married John Sears at St Michaels Cornhill, in the city of London in 1689, and John Gadney also recorded as John Godney, was a christening witness at the church known as St Sepulchre, also city of London, in 1695.
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