This surname LEDDY was established in County Cork in the mid-seventeenth century. By the mid-nineteenth century it had become very numerous, although it is much less now. Gillecrist and Malaghlyn O'Liddy, were recorded in County Limerick in 1314, with other 'mere Irishmen', discharged of all 'felonies' on paying a fine. In the 17th century the name was rendered as Lyedie. The Annals of Loch Ce spell the name O'Laighigh, citing two bishops of Killala so called and an archdeacon of Annaghdown. The name was originally of English origin, an occupational name 'the leader' a cart-carrier. Most of the occupations or professions reflected in family names are those known in the small villages in Europe, or those followed in a king's or important noble's household, or in some large religious house or monastery. During the middle ages much of Europe was composed of small villages, and the occupations would be used to describe the bearer. Other records of the name mention Richard Ledar, rector of Fouldon, County Norfolk, documented in the year 1335. Thomas Leeder was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. George Leader married Mary Newnam in Canterbury, Kent in the year 1688. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another. Daniel R. Lyddy (1842-1887) the American novelist was born in County Limerick.
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