Recorded in the spellings of Hildred and Hildreth, this is an English surname. The origination is from the Anglo-Saxon pre 7th Century personal name "Hildraeth" comprised of the elements "Hild" meaning "battle" and "raed" - "counsel".The name is first recorded circa 700 a.d. with St Hildrid of Barking Abbey, Essex, but with the Norman Conquest of 1066, seems to have largely fallen into disuse. The "modern" surname probably forms part of the English revival in the 13th Century, although it is also possible that the name was reintroduced into England by the Flemish Weavers circa 1400-1500. This may be borne out by the recording of Peter Hyldicke who married Katherin Tood at the church of St. Katherin by the Tower (of London) on June 1st 1606. Other recordings include Richard Hildred, a christening witness at St. Ann's Soho, on November 21st 1703, Charles Hildred recorded at St. Botolphs, London on April 21 1706, and John Hildreth who married Mary Fawbery at St. Benets, Pauls Wharf, London on October 29th 1724. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Hildrith, which was dated May 19th 1695, christened at St. Ann's Church, Soho, Westminster, during the reign of King William 111 of Orange and England, 1689 - 1702. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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