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The Lidderdale's of Sussex

Updated August 31, 2008

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The little I know of the family is that the name is an old Scottish surname - and is listed in a book of 'Old Scottish Surnames' I found in Cardiff University Library. According to the book the family can be traced back to the 14th Century - and were an old landed family from Lauderdale. The book explains that the name is really a derivative of Lauderdale from a time when many variations of spelling existed.

A letter on the site records the Lidderdale's being "an old Berwickshire family", apparently living in Yrsyltoun, Lauderdale (then Earlstoun, now Earlston), before moving to Galloway in the second half of the 16th Century.

It seems it was a marriage that took the family from Brewickshire to Galloway when James Lidderdale married Katherine Richardson in 1570. Katherine had significant land holdings in Galloway which pased to James Lidderale as part of Katherines dowry

The Lidderdale's were a prominent family in and around Kirkcudbright for a number of generations with at one time owning land in St Mary's Isle, Grange, Torrs and Little Galtway. The last known Lidderdale living there was the unmarried Elizabeth Lidderdale, known as Bettie, who died there in 1852.

Galtway churchyard, two miles from Kirkcudbright, has a monument to the memory of Thomas Lidderdale od St Mary's Isle and has the following inscription:-

Hic. Jacet. THOMAS LIDDERDALE Sancte Insulae. Mariae. Dominus. qu. obt.
11. Decimo. Die. Feby. anno 1687. etais 57.

Here lies DAVID LIDDERDALE of Torrs, son to the above THOMAS, who died
21 April 1732, aged 57.

You'll notice that I have my great, great, great, great grandfathers surname as Lautherdale. I have got this from the Scots Origins website (see link below), where there is a data extract from the church records of the Church of Scotland, Parish Church of Troqueer (can be viewed on Micofilm in the New Register House, Edinburgh). This extract shows a record for the marriage of "William Lautherdale" & "Elezabeth Wright" on "8th September 1766, Troqueer, Kirkcudbright, Scotland".

This is a good example of the variations of spelling that were common at this time, with the written word not broadly used meaning spelling of names was not yet firmly established. Which ties back to the origins of the name probably being from Lauderdale. Other spellings found include Lydderdayll,Lidderdaill, Ledderdale and Lidderdell.

By the time of the 1881 British Census my great great grandfather Francis Frederick Lidderdale (1833 - 1907) was living in 59 Porchester Terrace, Paddington, London. The census details were:-

Name Relationship Age Occupation
Francis F Lidderdale Head 46 Russian Banker
Hester Lidderdale Wife 36
Arthur H Lidderdale Son 6
Eustace H Lidderdale Son 11m
Fanny Fisher Servant 24 Cook
Katherine Jennings Servant 28 Parlour Maid
Sarah Ann Ward Servant 30 Nurse
Eliza Starling Servant 19 Housemaid

Two other sons, James Stewart and my great grandfather Francis John Lidderdale were both away at the time studying in Oxford - where they shared a house with their cousin Edward W Lidderdale

Tancred's site - the very excellent (click on link below) has a great deal of detail as to the early history and generally can be regarded as the definitive work for the Lidderdale's geneology - thanks to Tancred Lidderdale and all for their marvellous work.

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