Recorded in several forms including de Geddes, Geddes, Geddas and the rare patronymics Gaddis, Gaddes, and Gadson, this distinguished surname, is almost certainly of early medieval Scottish origins. It is a territorial name from the barony known as lands of Geddes in the former county of Nairn. It is believed to be so called from a Gaelic term for a mountain ridge. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The family had a grant of the lands of Ladyurd in the barony of Kirkurd in 1406, and in 1408, Matthew de Geddes (below) was rector of the Church of Forest. Alexander Geddes, noted in Episcopal Registers of Glasgow was a licenciate in theology at that city in 1452, and some twenty years prior to that, a grant of the lands of Ladyurd was made to "ane honest man William of Geddes", when John of Geddes, laird of half of Ladyurd, resigned the property into the hands of his overlord. The name recording in the Lonson lists includes that of John Gaddes who married Hannah Beasley at St Martins in the Field,Westminster, on July 10th 1786. The family coat of arms ha sthe blazon of a red shield with a silver inescutcheon between three gold pikes' heads couped, the Crest being a pike's head couped proper, and the Motto "Capta majora". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Master Matthew de Geddes, and dated 1405, in the "Records of those granted a safe conduct to England", during the reign of King Robert 111 of Scotland, 1390 - 1406.
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