Recorded in the spellings of Lidden, Liddon, Lydon, Lyddon and Lydden, this very interesting English surname is locational. It is derived from villages in Kent and the West Country of England and specifically the counties of Devon and Somerset. The place name and hence the later surname means the dweller at the place of the loud water, from the Olde English pre 7th century word "hlyde" meaning loud. In this context it probably described a waterfall, with the suffix of "-dun", meaning a hill or a place on a hill. The village of Lydden, near Dover in the county of Kent, is still a prominent place, however the village of Lyddon which may have existed in the Somerset area of the West Country, is either Lidden in the neighbouring county of Dorset, which seems likely, or is one of the five thousand or so now "lost" medieval villages and hamlets, of which the only surviving public memory is the modern surname. Early examples of the surname taken from surviving rolls and charters include Adam de Lyddone in Kirby's "History of Somerset" in 1328, whilst in 1543 Johanna Lydden of Whitstable, Kent, married John White, and in 1800 William Lyddon married Bessey Goldsmith at St. Georges chapel, Hanover Square, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Lydone. This was dated 1273, in the Pipe Rolls of Somerset. This was during the reign of King Edward Ist of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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