This interesting surname of medieval English origins is locational. It derives from a place called 'Glydwish' in Burwash, Sussex, and as such is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as 'Glaedwice'. This translates as 'the place of the bright elms', or possibly the 'bright meadow'. What is certain is that it is a reference to a natural feature of the landscape. The surname is effectively of 13th century origins, although it is not certain that the first nameholder as shown below was hereditary. What is undoubtedly true is that the name has many variations in the spelling and these include Gladdish, Gladdolph, Gladdis, Gladdifh, Gladeche, and no doubt many others.Examples of the early church recordings include Anne Gladyshe, daughter of William Gladyshe, christened at Faversham, Kent, on June 4th 1568, and Elizabeth Gladeche, christened at Stone, the Isle of Oxley, Kent, on January 31st 1580. Other recordings are those of John Gladwish, who married Jane Davy at St. Anne Lewes, Sussex, on June 3rd 1707, John Gladdolph, christened at Gravesend, Kent, on July 16th 1768, and Maria, daughter of John and Maria Gladish, who was christened on March 20th 1771, at St. Marylebone, London. The coat of arms granted in Essex has the blazon of a quartered field, blue and silver, on a fesse cotised erminois, between three demi lions counterchanged of the field, as many black eagles heads erased. The crest is an eagle rising from a green mount. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Gledewysse, which was dated 1296, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 1, 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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