Normans began to settle in Ireland, they brought the tradition of local surnames to an island which already had a Gaelic naming system of hereditary surnames established. Unlike the Irish, the Anglo- Normans had an affinity for local surnames. Local surnames, such as Ledwich, were formed from the names of a place or a geographical landmark where the person lived, held land, or was born. The earliest Anglo-Norman surnames of this type came from Normandy, but as the Normans moved, they created names that referred to where they actually resided. Therefore, English places were used for names when the Normans lived in England, and then Irish places after these particular Anglo- Normans had been settled in Ireland for some time. Originally, these place names were prefixed by de, which means from in French. However, this type of prefix was eventually either made a part of the surname, if the place name began with a vowel, or it was eliminated entirely. The Ledwich family originally lived in the settlement of Ledwyche in the English county of Shropshire, or in a place called Ledwich or Leftwich in the neighboring county of Cheshire. The surname Ledwich belongs to the large category of Anglo-Norman habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Ledwich family
Cheshire, where they held a family seat from early times. They are conjecturally descended from Walter de Vernon who was granted the lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. They held a family seat at Ledwich or Leftwich in that county.
Early History of the Ledwich family
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Ledwich Spelling Variations
spelling variations for the name: Ledwich, Ledwidge, Ledwedge and others.
Early Notables of the Ledwich family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Ledwich family to the New World and Oceana
In the mid-19th century, Ireland experienced one of the worst periods in its entire history. During this decade in order to ease the pressure of the soil, which was actually depleted by the effects of the previous years' grain crops, landowners forced tenant farmers and peasants onto tiny plots of land that barely provided the basic sustenance a family required. Conditions were worsened, though, by the population of the country, which was growing fast to roughly eight million. So when the Great Potato Famine of the mid-1840s hit, starvation and diseases decimated the population. Thousands of Irish families left the country for British North America and the United States. The new immigrants were often accommodated either in the opening western frontiers or as cheap unskilled labor in the established centers. In early passenger and immigration lists there are many immigrants bearing the name Ledwich: Ellen and Catherine Ledwidge who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849; Michael Ledgwidge landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1834.
Contemporary Notables of the name Ledwich (post 1700)
Ledwich Family Crest Products