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2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

The Bidgood One-Name Study grew out of an attempt over the past fifteen years to trace my own ancestry which took me back through families in Lancashire, Glamorgan, and Somerset to Dorset, with links to Canada, USA, and New Zealand. For the One-Name Study, I collect data for Bidgood and variants from any place and any date. The name with variants, was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 1999.

Variant names

The registered variants of the name are Bidgood, Bedgood, Bedggood and Bitgood. There are other spellings of these names, which occur occasionally. The variant Bitgood is almost exclusively confined to the USA, but for completeness, and since Bitgood and Bidgood interchange in some lines, it is included in my study. This is the result of close collaboration with an American researcher, Ms. Lorna Dorr.

Bigod and Bedwell names have been extensively researched by others and are not included in this study, since I know of no firm evidence of linkage with the Bidgoods.

Name origin

There are several rival theories. These range from a Saxon origin, through the Norman Conquest, to spelling changes during supposed forced residence in Wales. Unfortunately I know of little evidence to support any of these. It does seem likely that the name has its roots in the West Country (especially Devon) and was probably spelt either Bidgood or Bedgood depending on the ability of the local clergy to write down an unfamiliar name given in a strong regional accent. Bedggood appears to be a local variant appearing in the Titherington area of Gloucestershire, where it was preceded by Bidgood.

Historical occurrences of the name

Richard Bidgood (c.1615 - ?) merchant and clothworker of Romsey, a passenger on 200 ton ship 'Confidence' which sailed from Southampton April 1638 for the New World. Admitted as inhabitant of Boston, Massachusetts May 1639. Bound over in 1647 to keep the peace especially with his wife Mary. Returned to England in 1650 leaving his wife behind.

Humphrey Bidgood (? - 1641) apothecary was poisoned by his man servant Peter Moore. His son John Bidgood M.D. (1624 - 1690) was educated at Oxford, but moved to the Padua School of Medicine. He was a fellow of the College of Physicians in London, but practiced in Exeter. In 1690 he was granted the title of Baron. The title continued in the family until the nineteenth century when it lapsed through lack of male heirs. The Coat of Arms is illustrated above.

Remington Bitgood, (1758 - 1816) soldier 2nd Rhode Island Continentals; surveyor of highway, Chittendon Co. Vermont, USA

John H. Bedggood, (1802 - 1860) wheelwright at Te Waimate Mission Station, New Zealand. Member of Parliament.

John Charles Rowe Bedggood (1847 - 1911) shoemaker, established Bedggood & Co. Pty. Ltd of Melbourne, Australia: suppliers of cricket boots to Australian and UK Test teams.

John Bidgood, (1877 - ?) midshipman aboard HMS Britannia at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Thomas Bidgood, (1858 - 1925) musician and composer of the very popular Boer War march 'Sons of the Brave' 1899, and numerous other marches and light orchestral pieces, a conductor with his own orchestra.

King Bidgood, (? - ?) of the bath, a beloved fictional character who has numerous Google entries.

Name frequency

The ONS database for England and Wales shows about 800 Bidgood and variant names in September 2002, with Bidgood the 8504th, Bedgood the 37515th and Bedggood the 80577th most common name. In contrast, the Census Bureau for USA 1990 Sample has Bedgood the 13853rd and Bidgood the 74949th most common name. So that in neither country is the name common. Bidgood occurs more often than Bedgood in England and Wales, the reverse is the case in USA. Neither set of data shows results for Bitgood, since very rare names were disregarded.

Distribution of the name

The name is found in the West Country of England (especially Devon and Somerset) in the sixteenth century. In the UK the name spread north and east in the later part of the eighteenth century as the rural population moved first to the towns and then to the growing cities like Cardiff, and London. It reached Scotland in the earlier part of the nineteenth century. Emigration commenced in the eighteenth century and continues to the present day, resulting in family groups in the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.


All the Bidgood entries in the birth and marriage indices at the General Registry Office for England and Wales (1837 - 1910) and Scotland (1855 - 1910) have been recorded. All Bidgood and variant occurrences in the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 Census have been read. The Bidgood entries from the various versions of the IGI and PAF have been transcribed.

The One-Name Study also includes numerous entries from many parish registers and Bishop's transcripts, as well as pedigrees submitted by Bidgood researchers located in various countries. The study comprises (Aug 2011) about 11300 Bidgood, 2400 Bedgood, 900 Bedggood and 400 Bitgood names. New data is being added as it becomes available.

A small subset of this data comprising my own Bidgood/Bedgood line is available on GenesReunited. This and other selected Trees can be found on TribalPages and WorldConnect. I welcome inquiries, and the opportunity to exchange data. Offers of assistance with some or all of the study would be gratefully received.


The Bidgood Surname DNA Project welcomes queries and requests to join, for more information visit the link below.