Recorded in amy forms including Lidgate, Liddiatt, Lidgett, Lydiatt, Liggett, Ludgate, and Ludgater, this interesting surname is English. It is either a topographical name from residence by a swing-gate. This could either be a defensive gate in a city wall, one that could be swung to the side, or it may describe a similar construction to prevent cattle moving into the ploughed lands from a meadow. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century words "hlid-geat". Sometimes the surname was locational from any of the various places named with this word. These places include: Lidgate in the counties of Suffolk, Yorkshire, and Derbyshire; Lidgett near Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, and Lugat in the lordship of Stow, Midlothian, Scotland as well as the famous Ludgate Hill in the (now) city of London. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognizable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, and locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Philip atte Lidgate, Yorkshire, in 1274; Richard de la Lydeyate of Staffordshire, in 1280, and John atte Lygate of Sussex, in 1332. Other examples of the surname recording include: William Ludgate who married Susan Mason at st James church, Clerkenwell, London, on October 8th 1634, and on February 3rd 1697, Elizabeth Liggett and Jonathan Bushell, who were married at St. James church, Duke's Place, also city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Lidgate. This was dated 1230, in the "Pipe Rolls" of Sussex", during the reign of King Henry 111 of Engand, 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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