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Our 2,897 members have registered
2,472 study surnames with us
and a further 6,273 variant names.

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About the study

This study aims to provide a holistic view of people with the CURD surname by collecting accurate and relevant material from records. Furthermore I hope that descendants will make contact and contribute their experiences to expand and enhance the view of the CURD surname.

Variant names

Variant spellings to the name CURD.

It is believed that CURDE may be a variant spelling.

CURDS (surname) DNA tested indicates a close match to other CURD branches and therefore is a variant.

You may find misspellings too.

Name origin

CURD doesn't figure highly in ancient or modern records and because of its infrequency every CURD that I know of has suffered misspellings or mispronunciations of their name. The latest topical mistake made is the word KURD which with YDNA sampling indicates is no relation for many millennia. The earliest Curde is found in 1297 in Cornwall (Lawrence Curde). The origin of the surname seems to be Anglo-Saxon. One study of surnames says that words of one syllable, including surnames, are strong indicators of Saxon origin. Another book of surname links it to the milk industry, which seems a bit obvious (curds and whey)and another source links it to a shortened two syllable word meaning Guild of councillors. CURD spelling is also found in Germany though rarely so I'll keep my faith in curt words and go with a Saxon origin!

Historical occurrences of the name

The 1800s in England, Wales and Scotland have thrown up a few grand folks but two or three stand out. Charles the surgeon of Bath who left a large sum in his Will. In 1777 in Buxted, Sussex, John planted the finest pine avenue in Europe. Charles from London who was a Professor of Music in Brighton (son of a taylor/Hussars Chelsea Pensioner), Richard a 'Gentleman' of London. And there were the Watermen and Papermakers, likely the same branch from Cambridge (not yet proved) and the Master Mariners from Rye. Curds were mostly were humble but proud skilled workers or trades people or in the service industry like Shoemakers, Papermakers, Policeman, Gardeners, Agricultural workers, Shipwrights, Engineers, Builders, Man Servants, Female Servants, or Midwives, Nurses. Oh, and a Cheese Monger!(curds and whey)

There are some people giving CURDs a bad name like the graffittist unknown 'John Curd 1844' inscribed on the ancient stones of Kit's Coty in Kent, England and the occasional one having a brush with the law and exiled 'beyond the seven seas'.

There are also myths and legends such as CURD having a Coat of Arms and John Curd fighting in John Cade's rebellion or being related to Sir Thomas Cheyne(of old). I hope you'll let me know of others or if they are true.

Name frequency

CURD surname isn't common and doesn't need to be famous to be noticed due to it's being rare in some areas. So numbers found aren't huge. The Southern sea board of England and east Scotland, historically and Virginia, Kentucky in the USA.

In the 1901 England Census there were 1011 CURD entries found on the online version and a similar amount in the USA 1900 census. This includes children.

Interestingly CURD is also found amongst the slave schedules in the States of America. One Susan Curd having taken the option to go Liberia when set free.

Distribution of the name

According to some early transcribed parish records in England in 1537-1600 there were CURD names found in Cambridgeshire and in Kent and thinly distributed in London, Norfolk, Lincolnshire and Sussex and Surrey. Some parish records have not been offered for central storage and others have been lost or destroyed in wars and for other reasons. So there is only a vague idea of distribution in the early days. The east coast of Scotland was settled in 1800s due to shipbuilding and merchant services around the world. Communications are much better these days so CURD people are more widely settled ie. evenly distributed round the UK and beyond the seven seas, voluntarily! I have more work to do on America and other places but know it and Australasia is well settled by CURDs though, as ever, in small populations.


I have placed my electronic file of UK records in the Guild's safe-keeping with updates. I also hold birth index records and some parish records for the East Sussex area. My file includes Marriage and Death Index records for England in the 1837-1913 period and some details on the certificates, also emigrations to North America and Australasia and from the UK. The file has 1841 Census (transcriptions of the Census images). I also hold other Census records for individual families. I have Wills Index to 1860-1940 and some details in Wills. All the work is ongoing and will be updated as I go along. In the past I have concentrated on the Rye CURD families. If anyone wants any information from my records please let me know. And if you have any photos/picture of the old folks, again, please let me know.


I am collecting YDNA results from sample tests offered by men with the surname CURD and variants at the web site. I have tested 19 people. So far there are five Curd "Y" branches in the English origin family "U198" and one branch in the second largest family one of whom has an Irish father.  Of the other project members which don't fit the origins some can be related by old records. Samples are tested for 37 markers. This is the minimum to find the branches.

The company who does the testing occasionally offers a reduced rate at the year end until 31 December as they do periodically throughout the year including the Who do you think you are? Family History Show in Birmingham, England.  This year in early April.

Two distinct families, one in the South East of England and another the Virginia(Kentucky) Curd families are showing up. The indications are that the second group may have an Irish/Scottish origin. The 'English Curds are South East England Based and given the Haplo family reference of U198.

You are welcome to join the YDNA project if you are a male with surname CURD. A family group part of the Rose project are a similar match to Rye Curd branch and an exact match with surname Medhurst.  Similar matches may be found in other branches and families as more men are tested. 

I have recently added Maidstone and Tonbridge families to the database.  I am still awaiting samples from Dartford, Derby and Durham origins and possibly Scotland and Sudbury Curds and occasional London families.

A branch of the main English group has SNP tested as U198+ family which would likely include most other branches. All but three members so far have tested as R1b haplogroup ie common European. The Virginian/Kentuckian Curds are showing not to be U198.