When the Anglo- 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
The surname Ledwich was first found in 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
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ledwich research.Another 329 words (24 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1200, 1270, 1329, 1598, 1737, 1823, and 1858 are included under the topic Early Ledwich History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ledwich Spelling Variations
During the lifetime of an individual person, his name was often spelt by church officials and medieval scribes the way it sounded. An examination of the many different origins of each name has revealed many spelling variations
for the name: Ledwich, Ledwidge, Ledwedge and others.
Early Notables of the Ledwich family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Ledwich Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
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)
- Thomas Hawkesworth Ledwich (1823-1858), eminent Irish anatomist and surgeon from Waterford
- Edward Ledwich LL.D. F.S.A. (1738-1823), Irish historian, antiquary and topographer from Dublin