Recorded as Kedslie and Kidsley, and possibly other spellings, this is an English locational surname. It originates from the village of Kidsley in the county of Derbyshire, first recorded as Kidesleage in the year 1009. This was during the reign of the famous King Canute. It derives from the pre 7th century name 'Cydda', a popular tribal name in the region, and 'leah', meaning an area of fenced ground cleared for agriculture. A modern translation would be the farm of the Cydda people. Locational surnames are ones that were either given to the lord of the manor and his descendants, or more usually to former inhabitants of the village who for whatever reason left the village. In order to identify them in their new homes, it was the custom in past times to call such strangers by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the development of 'sounds like' forms. In this case the surname is recorded in the surviving church registers of the city of London. These recordings include those of John Kidsley, who was christened at St Lukes church, Finsbury Square, on July 31st 1788, and fifty years later that of another John, but this time spelt Kedslie who was christened at St Anne's church, Soho, Westminster.
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