I've tracked my Dredge ancestors back to Wiltshire so far, where Peter Dredge, carpenter, died in Britford in 1854. There is conflicting evidence about his place of birth, as the 1841 census says he was born in Wiltshire, while in 1851 his birthplace was recorded as Totton in Hampshire.
It would be nice to trace his ancestors further back, but as the Dredge name is unusual and localised I am also interested in the ancestry and whereabouts of other lines of Dredges within the UK.
The 1881 census recorded Wiltshire as the most populous county for Dredges with 154 of that name recorded there. Somerset had 127 Dredges, Middlesex 118, Surrey 76, Hampshire 39, Gloucestershire 32, Worcestershire 31, York WR 22, Warwick 18, Berkshire and Isle of Wight 17, Derbyshire 16, Devonshire 14, Monmouthshire 13 and Dorset and Yorkshire NR 12. All other counties had less than 10.
Of the possible variant spellings, there were 12 Dridges in Sussex and 6 in Hampshire, while for the name Drodge, 12 were in Hampshire and 5 in Lancashire. The name Drudge was clustered in the Isle of Wight, with 70 Drudges there, 26 in Hampshire and 10 each in Middlesex and Surrey.
The surname Drage has a different derivation (and its own surname forum). It was most common in Northamptonshire in 1881 (482 persons), with 170 in Middlesex and 138 in Hertfordshire.
Are there any other early Dredge families out there?