Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Cudd, along with main variants Cudde & Cud, is mainly of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the Old English for Cuthbert, cuþbeorht or Cudbert, meaning "famous bright". 'Cudde' tends to be found in older records before the 'e' was dropped whilst 'Cud' is found sporadically through in to the late 1700's.
However, there are a couple of completely separate origins for the surname:
From the Isle of Man: many Manx surnames used the Gaelic prefix 'Mc' or 'Mac', however the pronunciation of the prefix was unstressed, so that the final consonant became the first consonant in the second element of the name. When the prefix fell out of use, the final consonant became the first sound of the surname. The McHood or MacHood family's name therefore became Cudd in the late 1700's by virtue of the way it sounded and 'Cudd' became the accepted written form.
From Portlemouth, Kingsbridge area, Devon: a branch of the Codd family, led by Phillip Codd of Stokenham (b: 1786) were using the surname Cudd by the time of the 1851 census.
From the above it is therefore important to identify which Cudd families originate from the Isle of Man and Devon to ensure their trees are not linked to other Cudd groups.
The main two Cudd groups identified other than the Isle of Man & Devon are from Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire and Warwickshire (inc. Birmingham). There is also a small group from Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire which may be linked to the Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire group but no firm written evidence has yet been found. The Warwickshire group appears to be present from at least as far back as the early 1600's around Over Whitacre/Shustoke/Fillongley whilst the Gloucestershire/Oxfordshire group is present from the mid-1500's around Matson/Upton St Leonards just south of Gloucester.
There was a large branch of the Gloucestershire Cudds around Painswick who were Quakers, present from the 1670's through to the mid-1700's. It's possible that this branch led to the migration of Cudds to North America - the earliest Cudd reference I have found is a Jonathan Cudd born around 1730, possibly in Virginia.
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