Kidman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Kidman surname comes from the Middle English word "kid(e)," which referred to a young goat. The name may have originally been a nickname for someone energetically kid-like, or it may have occupational for a herder of goats.

Early Origins of the Kidman family

The surname Kidman was first found in Suffolk and Northamptonshire, where a William, Ralp Kide was on record in 12th century Pipe Rolls for those counties. An Alan Kydeman was also on record in Norfolk, in the 1275 Rotuli Hundredorum. The Hundredorum Rolls also lists Reginald Kidd. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had three entries: Ricardus Kyd; Thomas Kydde; and Willelmus Kydde. [1]

The Pipe Rolls listed William Kide in Suffolk in 1181 and Ralph Kide in Northumberland in 1198. [2]

Early History of the Kidman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Kidman research. Another 52 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1601, 1602, 1735, 1430, 1453, 1430, 1450, 1453, 1775, 1851, 1775, 1786, 1789 and are included under the topic Early Kidman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Kidman Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Kidd, Kydd, Kidman, Kideman, Kidde, Kydeman and others.

Early Notables of the Kidman family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Kyd (fl. 1430-1453), a 15th-century English pirate active in South West England from the 1430s until the 1450s. In November 1453, in perhaps the biggest prize of his career, he captured The Marie of St. Andrews. He and others were virtually immune from the law for over two decades by the protection of corrupt custom officials. John Kidd (1775-1851), physician, born in London 10 Sept...
Another 72 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Kidman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Kidman family to Ireland

Some of the Kidman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Australia Kidman migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Kidman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Kidman, British convict who was convicted in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Mr. John Kidman, English convict who was convicted in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Captain Cook" on 2nd May 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. James Kidman, English convict who was convicted in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England for life for theft, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 14th October 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. James Kidman, English convict who was convicted in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 3rd November 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Samuel John Kidman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Buckinghamshire" in 1839 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Kidman migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Kidman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Kidman, aged 35, a farm labourer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hannibal" in 1875
  • Isabella Kidman, aged 33, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hannibal" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Kidman (post 1700) +

  • Nicole Mary Kidman (b. 1967), Academy Award-winning Hawaiian-born Australian actress, named Companion of the Order of Australia in 2006
  • Sir Sidney Kidman (1857-1935), Australian cattleman, who at one time was the largest landowner in the British Empire
  • Jens Kidman (b. 1966), Swedish musician and vocalist
  • FIona Kidman DNZM, OBE (b. 1940), New Zealand novelist, poet and scriptwriter
  • Antonia Kidman (b. 1970), Australian journalist and the younger sister of actress Nicole Kidman
  • Adam Kidman Kempton (b. 1957), Australian politician, Member for Warrnambool, Victoria (1983-1985)


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/calcutta
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/captain-cook
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/fairlie
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Buckinghamshire.htm


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