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About the study
I am Trevor Gidman born 1935 in the Wirral Cheshire, living in Sussex, England with Mae my wife of 51 years who was born in Scotland. Several years ago I found there were just over 250 with the surname in England and Wales in the 1881 census so I resolved to find out anything I could about those people, their ancestors and descendants.
I know of just one or two references, spelt GYDMAN, early in the XVth century but for practical purposes from 1574 until recent times we are continuously in the Protestant Church Registers at Astbury parish in Cheshire.
Distribution of the name
Until quite recently almost everyone who I know of in the UK was in the three English counties of Cheshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire. Currently there are about 700 in the UK. Astbury is so close to the Cheshire boundary with Staffordshire that early movement between them does not reflect a significant migration. Cheshire and Lancashire are also adjacent but the distance between the Gidman settlements indicates a desire to set up home in a new area where more work was available as the industrial revolution gathered pace. The earliest family emigration I am aware of was to Connecticut in 1849 although there is a tantalising entry in a 1790 Boston USA enumeration for a clearly written 'Mrs Gidman', a 'free white female' living alone. More recently, as well as the USA , Canada Australia and New Zealand have been the chosen destination. A few are in the Isle of Man, Sweden, Holland and Germany.
My web site pages at http://www.tgidman.co.uk summarise the research by myself, Mae and correspondents who have been kind enough to share it. On the site, rather than attempt a Tree approach I have adopted a narrative form. However when contacted I will send out information from my database showing lineage; the records now extend into the 21st century. In the 1911 England census index I identified 92 families and 427 individuals, some of course separate from their families, already more than indexed because of transcription errors. I expected to find about 480 and am still trying to locate the others but there could be more emigrations that I have not found.