This very rare and interesting surname, is one of a group whose origin is open to a little speculation. Many surnames derive from occupations or nicknames whose meaning has changed greatly over the centuries. What was acceptable as humorous or even praiseworthy in medieval times, may not be greeted quite so enthusiastically today! The Mormon Church who are the leading authorities on Genealogy believe that the name is a variant of the Olde English pre 10th century "Potts" - a metonymic for a maker of earthenware vessels. This is possible, Potts did have a variant of Potes and even Poates, but not Pude which seems too remote. We believe the development is from "Pode" itself the Olde English for "Toad" and definitely found as Podd, Podes, and Poude, and almost certainly Pewd, Pewde and Pude. Why should somebody be called "Poad?" The poad (toad) was regarded as a very intelligent animal and one with mystical powers. Examples of the "link" recordings include Christopher Pode christened at St Dunstans Church, Whitechapel, on April 29th 1628, and Edward Pude, christened at St. Bolotophs without Aldergate, on April 30th 1665. Slightly later Luke Pewd was recorded at St Katherines by the Tower on September 9th 1691. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Pode, which was dated 1230, in the pipe rolls of Devon County, during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman" 1216 - 1272. 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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