This is a famous Scottish territorial surname, although well recorded in Ireland. Recorded in the spellings of Tweedie, Tweedy, Twiddy, and even Tweekie, the name derives from the lands of Tweedie in the parish of Stonehouse (Lanarkshire). Legend has it that the first of the name holders was the child of a water spirit residing in the River Tweed, which is a nice story but somewhat out of keeping with the public perception of the clan members. Throughout the Middle Ages and even into the 17th century, the tribe were renowned for being a savage race, much given to the inter-tribal warfare which raged in Scotland and the English Borders from the begining of recorded history. Much of the on-going disputes were as a result of land claims. The Tweedies possessed the lands of Drummelzier for over three hundred years c.1320 to 1625, losing them in the reign of Charles 1st, when they were disposed for continual lawlessness of which the following is an example. James Twedy of Drummelzier, murdered James Geddes 'within the burgh of Edinburgh' on December 29th 1592, the Tweedies having a particularly violent feud against the Geddesses. In 1715 the Tweedies of Drummelzier were described by Pennecuik as 'once being a powerful and domineering family, now quite extinct'. By this is meant that they had been driven from that region. Examples of the recordings include James de Twedy at Dalkeith in 1390, and Magister Thomes Tweadie of Aberdeen in 1583, proving that some nameholders at least were on the side of the law. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Finlay de Twydyn of Lanarkshire, which was dated 1296, He rendered homage, during the reign of John Balliol of Scotland 1292-1296. 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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