This unusual surname is of ancient Cornish origins, and derives from a lost place, believed to have been on the North Coast, and variously recorded as Ludcot, Lidecot, Lidcott etc. "Lost" sites are a feature of British surnames, some five thousand such places being known to have given birth to surnames, although they themselves have totally disappeared - sometimes into the sea! The name derives from the two Cornish words "luit" meaning a dark or grey, and "cuit" - a woodland area. There is a legend that the name derived from Spain, however although a picturesque story, this does not fit with any known facts, furthermore the likelihood of (in particular) anybody of Spanish origin surviving a landing in Cornwall, would indeed have been a miracle. A few Spanish landed in Ireland from the Armada in 1588, and almost all were immediately killed, by the Irish! The name is well recorded from the 16th century and the start of church records, and these recordings include Radigan Lidacoate of St Columb Major in 1627, Florence Liddacoat also at St Columb, she married one John Buckthorpe on April 14th 1668, whilst on July 1st 1694, Mary Lydcott was christened in Plymouth, Devon. Other recordings include the variant forms Liddecote in Goran in 1718, Lydycott, also at Goran in 1744, Laddicot at Newlyn in 1782, and Liddycott in Bodmin in 1782.What is not clear is why did the original village disappeared? Usually in England this was caused by a lss of the common grazing rights through the Enclosure Acts, when landlords not only seized the lands but literally destroyed the village. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margrett Ledcote, which was dated September 26th 1568, married Nicholas Wayren, at Lezant, Cornwall, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess" 1558 - 1603. 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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