Recorded in a number of spellings including Ludlow, Ludhill and Ludwell, this surname is of early English origins. It is locational from either Ludlow in the county of Shropshire or Ludwell in the county of Derbyshire, or Ludwell Hill, now part of the city of London. The first place is recorded as "Ludelaue" in the charter known as the "Historia Anglorum", dated 1138, and as "Ludelawa" in the Pipe Rolls of the county in 1177. The deriivation is from the pre 7th century Olde English word "hlude" meaning loud, with "hlaw", a hill; and hence "the rapid river on the hill". Ludlow Town is situated on the River Teme near Ludford. Ludwell in Derbyshire has the same 7th century origination, and means exactly the same. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Spelling being at best erratic and local dialects very thick, lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. Early examples include John de Lodelawe in the Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire in 1327, George Ludlow in the Subsidy Rolls of Wiltshire, dated 1545, Thomas Ludwell, a witness at St Antholins church, Budge Row, and Ann Ludwell, who married Francis Cockwell at St Sepulchre church on February 3rd 1566, both in the city of London. George James Ludlow (1758 - 1842) died without issue. He was the third and last Earl Ludlow. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Ludelawe, which was dated 1182, in the "Pipe Rolls of Shropshire", during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189.
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