Recorded in a number of spellings including Soda, Sodo, Sodeau, Soder, Sodor etc, this is an Anglo-French surname, but of pre 7th century Germanic origins. It derives from the word 'suo' meaning south, and as such described either a person who came from a southern country such as Italy or Greece, or more likely was residential for somebody who lived 'to the south of the village'. All points of the compass North, South, East and West are covered in surnames, and in their differing spellings are also found in almost every European country. This word which became a surname, may well have had at least two and probably three introductions into Britain. The first was in the time of the Anglo-Saxon invaders after the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, the second with the Norman Invasion of 1066, and the third with the Huguenot refugees of the 17th and 18th centuries. These latter people fled the infamous persecution of the protestants by, in particular Louis X1V of France (1643 - 1715), and many settled in England. One of these was Isaac Sodeau, a witness at the French Huguenot Church, Wheeler Street, in the city of London, on September 7th 1739. However the name in its 'English' spellings was found much earlier, William de la Sothe being probably the first of the recordings in any spelling, at Durham, and in the Hundred Rolls of 1273. Later recordings include those of Alice Sodo, who married William Poole at Uxbridge, Middlesex, on November 25th 1583, and John Soda, a witness at St Mary Whitechapel, Stepney, London, on August 27th 1613. Surnames over the centuries have rarely retained their original spelling. Local dialects and erratic spelling have continued to cause changes even in the 20th century.
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