This interesting and unusual name is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of the name South, which is either topographic for someone who lived to the south of a main settlement, or descriptive for someone who had migrated from the south to another part of the country. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "suth" meaning "south". The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Isabella South appears in the 1297 "Minister's Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall". Other forms of the name have included del South and de Sowth (1379, "The Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire"). Other variants include Suddren and Sudran, as in the following examples, John Suddren who married Margery Smith on May 29th 1614 at Pittington, Durham and one Elizabeth Sudran who was christened on October 28th 1627 at Norton, Durham. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de la (of the) Sothe, which was dated 1273, "The Hundred Rolls of Devon", during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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