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Bookplate of Edmund Strudwick Esq

About the study

My research began as many do, as a personal family history project, with research extending into unrelated Str*dwick's in an attempt to resolve some brick walls.

It soon became apparent however that all variations seemed to have a particular geographic origin, and a high probability that the various branches shared common ancestors.

It seemed useful therefore to commence a one name study, and at the same time endeavor to understand the linkages that existed between the various trees.

The collection of material has now lead to two significant databases, one that explores the genealogy of the family as it is identified, the other more substantial collection that captures anything related to the name I come across.

Variant names

The major variations of the name fit with the general expansion of the family across Sussex and Surrey and beyond.
Earliest versions of the name in the 15th century do vary in their spelling, but are generally consistent with the pronounciation STRODWICK, ie Strodewyke, Strodwicke,Strodewycke. This appears to have evolved to STRUDWICK around the end of the 16th century.While variations in spelling are still apparent, the name at this time still follows a common pronounciation , ie Strudwycke, Strudwick, Strudwyke, Strudwicke.

In the early 17th century we start to see larger numbers of the greater Strudwick family appearing in other areas, and this is when we also see a sudden increase in the variety of significant variations. These variations tend to occur on the first vowel, and so we see Stradwick, Stredwick, Strodwick, Streadwick, Strudwick,Stridwick, and lesser variations of those occurring.

Given the range of variation in dialect in the areas these names occur it is likely that the spellings are a result of these different dialects and therefore the interpretation of the particular spelling by the clerk or scribe of the records.So for instance, we see the name generally pronounced as Stredwick in Kent, whilst in Kirdford the Strudwick version is almost universally retained.
These days the name is usually spelt Strudwick, with lesser occurrences of Strudwicke, Stradwick, Stridwick and Stredwick

Name origin

The name originated near the Surrey and West Sussex border, and was associated with a place-name, being a derivative of two Old English words: - strod = marshy place and wic = farm or dwelling, The Penguin Dictionary provides the meaning as 'dairy farm in marshy bushland'.
A place called 'strod wic' appeared in an Anglo-Saxon Charter granting some land near Steyning in AD 965. By 1330, references appear where the place has become associated with individuals, such as the Kirdford, Sussex reference to 'Boscus de Strodwike'. Reference also start to appear around this time (1340) to 'StrodewyKeswood in Kyrdeford' . This woodland still exists (in part) near the properties in Kirdford called Crouchland farm and Foxbridge, and is now known as Strudgwick Wood.
As a surname, very few early references exist, until the 15th century, when it becomes much more prevalent , with a Ric. Strodewyke, witness to a feoffment of a parcel of land, in Kirdford in 1437 . The name also becomes apparent in Chiddingfold and in Hambledon a tax collector called John Strodewick is mentioned in 1430.
The earliest person found with the clear surname is a John Stroudwyk, mentioned in the Sussex Feet of Fines dated 1362.
Early versions of the name of the form Strodewycke and Strodwyk use the 'o' reflecting its Old English origins of 'strod', however this spelling seems to disappear by the mid 16th century. Later versions include Strydwyke, Strudgwick, Stradwick, Stredwick, Stridwick,Strudweek, Strudwyck and Strudwycke, most of these spellings disappearing by the mid 17th century.
Many other variations occur, some appearing in only one generation, and probably the result of the 'preferred spelling' of the particular clerk who made the records, others being associated with many generations of a family

Historical occurrences of the name

Strudwick's of note, include three who settled in London. John Strudwick of 'the sign of the Star', Holborn Bridge,Holborn, in who's house John Bunyan died 1688. Bunyon was then buried in the Strudwick vault, and in 1697 and 1699, two wealthy Strudwicks died - Thomas of Hampstead, gent in 1697, and his son William of Cheapside, citizen and clothworker in 1699. Thomas Strudwick was married to Elizabeth Pepys, the cousin of Samuel Pepys, the noted diarist, and is mentioned several times in his work.
Other notable's include artist John Melhuish Strudwick, Cricketer Herbert (Bert) Strudwick and film actor Shepherd Strudwick.
In America, the Strudwick family settled in North Carolina in the 17th century, and several members of the family were prominent in the fields of politics and medicine