The Tudgay (Tudgee, Tudgey) Family
by Brian Taylor
greatly aided by Martin Taylor and many correspondents
This site is dedicated to the memory of my late mother, Aileen Taylor (neé TUDGAY), who traced us back to the Somerset diaspora, and her father, Frank Tudgay, who inspired me to become a scientist.
So far, we can trace our branch back to Isaac Tudgee, who left the Bath-Frome area of Somerset ca 1846 for the Abersychan area of Gwent (in the former Monmouthshire county area), South Wales. His father was William Tudgee, or Tudgdy (curiously possibly Tudgay), who was born in 1777 in Leigh on Mendip, Somerset (to the west of Frome). Prior to that there is a gap in the knowledge but we now (January 2010) feel quite confident that William was the son of James Tudgay, ca 1752-1812, probably of Marston Bigot, near Frome, Somerset and that he was the son of James Tudgay, ca 1728-1762, and his wife Mary Wheeler, 1730-1761, both also of Marston Bigot. On Mary's side, we go back two generations to William Wheeler, b 1684, of Marston Bigot.
The spelling of the name as "Tudgay" seems to have been a corruption of "Tudgee", at least as far as it concerns our family, and that in turn seems to have been a corruption of "Tudgdy". Another version is almost certainly "Tudgey", although our direct family link remains to be proved. In the Census records for 1881 and 1901, people living in and around Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire, are listed in one or other of the spellings or even both in apparently one family.
None of the Etymologies of Surnames that I have come across include the name in any of its forms, so the origin and interpretation of the name is a mystery.
the Web and considerable information collected by "cousins" of various
time-removed, has shown that the family origins probably lie somewhere
in deepest Somerset and across the County boundary in the Deverill
Valley of Wiltshire, to the south of Warminster.
Jumping forward to the present, searching the on-line UK telephone directories shows at least 44 Tudgays, one Tudgey and one Tudgee. The Tudgays are still in two main clusters - the Abersychan/Pontypool area of South Wales, and Somerset.
In the United States,
the name appears as follows - eight in Pennsylvania; two in Texas; one
or two in Osage County (Kansas); and one each in Florida, California,
Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.
There appears to be three separate groups -
John C. "Jack" Tudgay, 1855-1935, was recorded in the 1880 United States Census as living in Osage County, Indiana. His birth place is unknown to me but one of the Deverill villages seems the most likely.
The Pennsylvania folk are all descendants of two sons of Isaac Tudgay of Talywain, South Wales. Thomas Tudgay, 1840-1907, who emigrated in about 1869, and Isaac Tudgay, 1847-1923, who emigrated to join his brother in 1881/2. Both settled in Warrior Run Mining Village, Pennsylvania.
Henry John Tudgay, 1891-1977, and his brother Herbert Tudgay, 1895-83, both emigrated from Lydford-on-Fosse, Somerset, to De Kalb, Illinois, in 1910-1911. A third brother, Harry Tudgay, 1904-1977, joined them later. The family can be traced back to Monkton Deverill
The California residents are from a mid-1950's emigration.
There is also a Tudgey family group in Australia, possibly descended from Jeremiah, eldest son of William Tudgee of Leigh on Mendip. Others live in New Zealand and are descended from John, the second son of William. This may be incorrect as a William Tudgee died in Bath in 1852.
Recently my brother, Martin, told me he had a DNA test by Oxford Ancestors of his Y chromosome. That reveals, not unsurprisingly, that the Taylor lineage links with the 75% of the British population who have links to ancient Britain, "Celtic"?
My apologies go to any whose names I have got wrong and whose genealogy I have assumed wrongly. Please let me know of any corrections or further information. For privacy, I have not given full information on those alive today but, if that is what you wish, please get me to remove your names or details from this site.
In 2002, I have revised and added to the site. This is due to the tremendous amount of information gathered by -
In 2003 I have added records from a basic search of the UK 1901 Census and more from the 1881 Census. Further family members have came up with information -
In 2008 More comes from the efforts of my brother, Martin, and his visits to the Bath area and the Records offices, etc.
Now, 2017, I have used the extensive listings of UK Births, Marriages and Deaths compiled by https://www.freebmd.org.uk to add a great deal of information covering the years 1837 to around 1983. This has helped clarify many of the origins of the modern day families (such as those whose locations I show on the map I compiled for 2001, link below).
Note: The BMD Records also include a number of "TUGDAY" names. The
earliest being a Tugday female b 3Q 1837, Mere. The name mostly overlap
with the Tudgay families, so may well be a misspelling, and sometimes
©2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2010, 2017 - Brian Taylor
PhD CBiol FRSB FRES
11, Grazingfield, Wilford, Nottingham, NG11 7FN, U.K.
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