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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Where did the English Kidder family come from? What is the English Kidder family crest and coat of arms? When did the Kidder family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Kidder family history?

The name Kidder is tied to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England. It comes from the Dutch personal name Kygeir which meant people's spear. The surname Kidder was adopted in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Kidder has undergone many spelling variations, including Kidder and others.

First found in Sussex where another reference claims that name is an occupational name for "one who travels with goods for sale. Most if not all the Kidders of England spring from Maresfield, co. Sussex, where they may be traced back as far as the reign of Edward II." [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kidder research. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1691, 1633, 1703, 1703 and 1691 are included under the topic Early Kidder History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kidder Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Kidder family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Kidder were among those contributors:

Kidder Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Kidder, who settled in Boston in 1633
  • James Kidder settled in Cambridge in 1633
  • James Kidder, who landed in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1649
  • Thaddeus Kidder, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1672

Kidder Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Benjamin Kidder settled in Baltimore in 1775

Kidder Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • John Kidder, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

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  • Rolland E. Kidder, American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly 150th District, 1975-82; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1980
  • Pascal P. Kidder, American politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1871-81
  • Randolph Appleton Kidder (b. 1913), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia, 1964-65
  • Nathan P. Kidder, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New Hampshire, 1872
  • Mary Faith Kidder, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 2004
  • Mary Kidder, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1952
  • Lyman Kidder (1774-1841), American politician, Member of Vermont State House of Representatives
  • Luther Kidder (1808-1854), American Democrat politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate, 1842-44 (11th District 1842-43, 13th District 1844)
  • Joseph Souther Kidder (b. 1810), American politician, Member of Vermont State House of Representatives, 1870
  • John Flint Kidder (1830-1901), American Republican politician, Member of California State Assembly 15th District, 1865-67; Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1892

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  • The Shepard Genealogy by Lowell Shepard Blaisdell.
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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  11. ...

The Kidder Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Kidder Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 12 December 2015 at 11:33.

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