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Judd Name Study

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Location: Englandmap
Surnames/tags: Judd Judde Jud
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This uncommon name is of early medieval English origin, and is derived from one of the diminutive forms of the personal name Jordan. The given name has two possible sources: it may derive from an Old German personal name, "Jordanes", thought to contain the same root as the Old Norse "jordh", land; or, and this is the more likely source for most bearers of the modern surname, it may be taken directly from the name of the river Jordan, which is so called from the Hebrew "Yarden", from "yarad", to go down, descend to the Dead Sea. Returning Crusaders and pilgrims would frequently bring back flasks of water from the river Jordan to be used in the baptism of their children, since John the Baptist had baptized people, including Christ Himself, in the river. The given name Jordan thus acquired some popularity, and has generated a number of surnames, among them Judd, Jurd, Jutte and Jude, from diminutive forms.

The given name is recorded in the Latinized form of "Jurdanus" in 1196, and one Judde Rampe is listed in the Lancashire Assize Court Rolls of 1246. Examples of the surname from London Church Registers include the christening of Alice, daughter of William Judd, at St. Mary Magdalene, on October 27th 1566. A Coat of Arms granted to a family of the name depicts a silver fesse ragulee between three silver boars' heads, couped, on a red shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Judde, which was dated 1204, in the "Pipe Rolls of Herefordshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199-1216.[1]


Historically, the surname JUDD was most prevalent in Hampshire and Essex, with further medium concentrations in Wiltshire, Devon, Warwickshire and Hertfordshire. A distribution map can be seen here.

Since the mid-19th century, emigration has seen large concentrations develop in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Famous and Infamous Judds

14th century

  • John Judde (1375-dec), mayor of Salisbury, Wiltshire in 1417

15th century

  • Sir Andrew Judde (1490-1558), founder of the Judd School of Tonbridge and Lord Mayor of London

19th century

  • Walter Henry Judd (1898-1994), American politician, statesman and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

20th century

  • Thomas William Oscar Judd (1908-1995), Canadian Major League Baseball pitcher for the Boston Red Sox (1941–1945) and Philadelphia Phillies (1945–1948)
  • Sidney "Sid" Judd (1928-1959), Welsh international rugby union flanker
  • Edward Judd (1932-2009), British Actor
  • Neville Hugo Sale Judd CVO QSO (1939-2017), Canadian-born New Zealand diplomat, New Zealand Chargé d'Affaires in the Soviet Union (1973-1974)
  • Naomi Judd (1946-2022), American county music singer and songwriter, best known as part of the duo 'The Judds' with daughter Wynonna. She is also the mother of actress Ashley Judd
  • James Judd (b. 1949), English conductor and classical musician
  • Terence Judd (1957-1979), English pianist
  • Christopher Dylan "Chris" Judd (b. 1983), professional Australian Rules footballer and dual Brownlow Medal recipient

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Please contact the project leader Rob Judd or leave a comment at the foot of the page. If you have any questions, just ask. Thanks!

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  1. Origins: SurnameDB

Task List

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  • Geological distribution - DONE
  • Famous / infamous persons - DONE
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