This unusual and interesting name is of Flemish (Dutch) origin, and was introduced into England during the late 16th Century by Flemish Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecution on the continent. The name 'Youde' and its variant forms 'Youd', 'Yude' and 'Yeude' are Anglicizations of the Flemish 'Jeude', the cognate form of the Medieval English personal name 'Jude'. This itself was the vernacular form of the Hebrew male given name 'Yehuda', Judah, the name of Jacob's eldest son. The personal name was used only rarely before the Reformation, usually due to the fame of the Apostle Jude, and the popularity of the story of Judas Maccabeus. The phonetic spelling of the Flemish form 'Jeude' produced the English variants, found especially in the north western counties of Lancashire and Cheshire. The marriage of Thomas Youde and Elizabeth Sweetlove was recorded at Leigh in Lancashire on April 29th 1604. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Jude, which was dated 1211, The Devonshire Curia Rolls, during the reign of King John, known as 'Lackland', 1199-1216. 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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