This is a medieval locational surname of Olde English origins. It derives from the words "middel" which does literally mean "the middle" and "dich" a ditch or dyke. It would seem that such a place once existed, and as such is one of an estimated five thousand "lost" locations, which have provided surnames. Curiously the name was found originally in London, recordings in other areas being quite rare. This suggests that either the original village was completely cleared which is quite likely under the 17th century Enclosure Acts, or the original "Middle Ditch" was literally in London.We do not have proof either way, except that numerous "ditches" existed in medieval London, so this is quite possible. Indeed there may well have been several such places, but if so they no longer appear to exist. What is particularly interesting about this surname is that the original church recordings show a number of spelling variations for the same family, and on at least one occasion in the same entry! In the earliest form the name (see below) appears as Middledishe, however in 1592, the same father Robert is recorded at the same church as Robert Middledich, whilst his son who was being christened appears as Robarte Myddleditche! On February 2nd 1605, Robert Midledich is recorded as being the father of Frances, and we believe this Robert to be one and the same person as in the previous recordings. A later recording was that of William Middleditch, who married Mary Marny at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on April 4th 1809. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Middledishe, which was dated July 13th 1589, christened at St Andrews Church, Holborn, London, 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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