Cheddar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Cheddar family
The surname Cheddar was first found in Somerset where Cheddar is a large village and civil parish in the Sedgemoor district. Britain's oldest complete human skeleton, the Cheddar Man, estimated to be 9,000 years old, was found here in 1903. During the Saxon period, a royal palace was located here. By the 10th century it was a three-time host to the Witenagemot. Cheddar was first listed as Ceodre c. 880. And by the Domesday Book it had evolved to Ceder, meaning "Shear Water", and from the Old English scear and Celtic dwr. Alternatively it could have been derived from the Old English "ceodor" which meant "ravine" as reference to the Cheddar Gorge.  As early as 1130 AD, the Cheddar Gorge was recognized as one of the "Four Wonders of England".
Early History of the Cheddar family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cheddar research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1377, 1510, 1600, 1982, 1455 and 1487 are included under the topic Early Cheddar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cheddar Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Cheddar have been found, including Chedder, Chadder, Cheder, Cheddre, Cheddar, Chader, Chetter and many more.
Early Notables of the Cheddar family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Cheddar Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cheddar family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Cheddar, or a variant listed above: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)