Show ContentsLedwidge History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 Ledwidge, 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 Ledwidge 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 Ledwidge 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 Ledwidge family

The surname Ledwidge 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 Ledwidge family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ledwidge research. Another 109 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1200, 1270, 1329, 1598, 1737, 1823, and 1858 are included under the topic Early Ledwidge History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ledwidge Spelling Variations

It was found during an investigation of the origins of the name Ledwidge that church officials and medieval scribes often spelled the name as it sounded. This practice lead to a single person's being documented under many spelling variations. The name Ledwidge has existed in the various shapes: Ledwich, Ledwidge, Ledwedge and others.

Early Notables of the Ledwidge family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Ledwidge Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Ledwidge migration to the United States +

Irish immigration to North American began in the late 18th century as many Irish families desired to own their own land. This pattern of immigration grew slowly yet steadily until the 1840s. At that time, a failed crop and a growing population in Ireland resulted in the Great Potato Famine. Poverty, disease, and starvation ravaged the land. To ease their pain and suffering the Irish often looked upon North America as a solution: hundreds of thousands undertook the voyage. Their arrival meant the growth of industry and commerce for British North America and the United States. For the individual Irishman, it meant survival and hope, and the opportunity for work, freedom, and ownership of land. The early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Ledwidge:

Ledwidge Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Ellen and Catherine Ledwidge who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1849
  • Matthew Ledwidge, aged 37, who arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Gallia" from Liverpool & Queenstown [1]
  • Mary A. Ledwidge, aged 18, who arrived in New York in 1895 aboard the ship "Furnessia" from Londonderry, Ireland [1]
Ledwidge Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Christina Ledwidge, aged 28, originally from London, England, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Rotterdam" from Plymouth [1]
  • Christine Eleanor Ledwidge, aged 29, originally from Sown, England, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Adriatic" from Southampton, England [1]

Australia Ledwidge migration to Australia +

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

Ledwidge Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Francis Ledwidge, aged 22, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Storm Cloud"

Contemporary Notables of the name Ledwidge (post 1700) +

  • Michael Ledwidge, American author who has co-authored with the best-selling author James Patterson
  • Francis Edward Ledwidge (1887-1917), Irish war poet from County Meath, known as the "poet of the blackbirds," killed in action at the Battle of Passchendaele, buried at the Artillery Wood Cemetery, near Boezinge, Belgium
  • Joseph James "Jack" Ledwidge (1877-1953), Irish Gaelic footballer
  • Tom Ledwidge (1911-1986), Australian rules footballer who played with Fitzroy in 1936 and 1938
  • Reginald Ross "Reg" Ledwidge (1922-1977), Australian Test cricket match umpire who umpired three test matches between 1975 and 1977
  • John Ledwidge (b. 1934), former Australian rules footballer who played with South Melbourne (1954-1958)

  1. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from on Facebook