Recorded as Laddie, Leddie, Leddy, Liddy, Luddy, and originally O' Liddy, this is an ancient Irish surname. It originates from the Gaelic name O' Lideadha meaning "The male descendant of Lideadh", a personal name of uncertain origin, but possibly a derivative of 'leadbhd', meaning a pelt or skin. The surname is mainly associated with County Cavan, and dates back to at least the 11th century, (see below), making it one of the earliest surnames recorded anywhere in the world. Early examples of recordings taken from surviving charters, rolls and registers include Gillecrist and Malaghlyn O' Liddy of Limerick, in the year 1314, who were fined for committing some felony, whilst John O' Laidigh was the bishop of Killala in circa 1560. In the surviving church registers of the city of Lonon we have some interesting recordings showing the name changes including Maudlen Ludy who married William Elliott on November 17th 1632 at St James Clerkenwell and Michael Liddy who married Ellen Sweeny on December 26th 1847 at St. Clement Danes, Westminster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Caibre O' Ligda, the crenagh of Emly. This was dated 1058, in the Annals of Innisfallen, Ireland. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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