Sudle to Suddell



March 2007


Updated March 2007

It is quite remarkable how names change across time.  Apart from the people who make a conscious decision to change their name the majority I feel must be the result of ignorance and I don't mean that in discourteous way.  With so few people able to read or write in the 1800's it is small wonder that variances occur.  The relaying of a surname from one person to another, when the speaker cannot spell, relies upon clarity of speech, accent, dialect and phonetically accurate pronunciation.  For the recorder the same phonetic dictionary and a good ear are essential.  The easier your surname was to pronounce the better.  Names like Steel and Hill generally get you Steel or Steele and Hill.  Names like Suddell (or whatever the original was) get you Suddell, Sudell, Sudhell, Sudill, Sudle, Siddle, Sudul . . .  Fortunately, not all these occur within the trees on this website (yet?); but all have been spotted in the census returns.

The early Suddell family were from Hatfield, Hertfordshire.  On both the 1841 & 1851 census returns the name of Thomas and his wife Hannah and all the children are spelt as Sudle.  On the 1861 census the name is Suddell.  The difference?  Sometime between 1856 and 1859 the family moved to West Ham, Essex, resulting in the 1861 census being taken by a different Recorder (Enumerator)!  The West Ham Enumerator  had different ears to the Hatfield Enumerator; this being the only difference as the speaker was no doubt the same.

For the Suddell family (in the Suddell tree displayed Previously) spelling changes occur in the family of Henry Suddell and Emma Crouch.  The census returns for a number of this families members jump around between a 'd' and a 'dd' variation as do the certificates.  The marriage certificate of Henry and Emma has a 'dd' spelling, but two of the children have a 'd' spelling.  On the birth certificate of George (b:1859), the third born, the name is clearly Sudell as is his younger brother William (b:1862).  Henry and Emma's surname, as the parents on the certificates , is also a 'd' spelling.  Emma cannot write as her signature is an 'X' and recorded as her witness mark.  With the arrival of the fifth child, Thomas (b:1866), it changes back to 'dd' and appears to remain that way for all others to the present day.

This however cannot be the full story of the origins of Suddell.  What was it before Sudle?

For the record, on the 1881 Census the whole family are recorded as Sudell's once more.  This same Census also records 31 other Suddell's and 124 other Sudell's.  For further reference the 1871 Census shows 10 Suddell's, the census of 1861 shows 7 Suddell's & the census of 1851 shows just 5.