Last updated 28th March, 2004
(I'm in update mode so please be patient of errors while I work on the site.)
June 2005, updates coming soon.
It would seem that what started off as an attempt to construct a small family tree, has turned into something of a monster sized project. To be quite honest I'm not quite sure how I want to structure this site, - maybe it will just evolve naturally over time, we will see. Some aspects of history are so fascinating that I find it hard not to include every little snip of information in my project, and although I will attempt to stay on topic, please don't be to surprised if I wander from the path once in a while.
Anyone and everyone with an interest in social or family history, and especially those looking for information on the "Strudwick" name or any of its variants. There does seem to be a general lack of information written on the subject. Even the "Strudwick" file at the Society of Genealogists seems to have gone for a walk, which is such a shame.
"That's a strange name". The times I have heard that said while I was growing up! Is it really that strange? I suppose it depends how it is said for a start. Most of the other children at school used to say it with a phony German accent. At a young age I almost began to believe that my name originated from Germany. Studvik, Stutvik, Stoodvig, I can still hear it now. I must add that my nick names did not always revolve around this Germanic theme, and I acquired some rather more normal and bearable names as time went on. Struddy, Struders, Struddles and even "Shreddie Wheat". I must add that these days "Strudwick" is not such an unusual name what with the multi-cultural society we all now live in.
The origins of the name are somewhat confused, and at the start of this project all I had to go on were two sources. One of which is a letter to a newspaper and the other a standard "blurb" text from one of those "family history and coat of arms" framed certificates you can buy (I presume they get their information from a fairly reliable source but they offer nothing like a definative answer).
Also at of the begining of this project in 1997 I believe that the name 'Strudwick' is of Saxon origin and apparently registered in the Doomsday Book under the Sussex area of Petworth (I have yet to confirm this as any translations I have consulted have not shown this so far). The name Strudgwick means 'farm in a marshy place', and as Ken Strudwick stated in his letter to the Daily Mail (February 28, 1986), and much to my friends amusement ever since, could be termed as "Saxon bog dwellers". I have never been entirely satisfied with these short explanations as they leave so many questions unanswered. So, with this project I will attempt to discover more about the ancient Sussex family of Strudwicks, the villages they lived in and any other interesting information we can find along the way.
THE PROJECT BEGINS
The spelling of English surnames is variable until the mid 19th century and can be quite chaotic in the earlier records. So far in my research I have noted over thirty possible variants of the Strudwick name, nearly all of which disappear by the early 19th century. I presume that these names faded out because of corrections by clerk's and other educated bodies, and were just assimilated back into the Strudwick name from where they once came, albeit in its earlier forms.
I have managed to pin-point a nucleus of Strudwick's in the East Surrey and West Sussex border areas going back to the 15th century (and in some cases much earlier), at places such as Alfold, Chiddingfold, Kirdford and Wisborough Green. This project will initially pay most attention to those and their surrounding areas.
ANGLO SAXON CHARTER COULD HOLD THE KEY
I had seen references to an Anglo-Saxon charter that mentions an early form of the name or descriptive term that the name Strudwick comes from. I decided to have a good search around on the internet and came up with a very interesting site. The main url is here and the page of particular interest is here. (As of November 2002, I have discovered a translation of the above mentioned Anglo-Saxon Charter in the 1949 edition of 'Surrey Archaeological Collections'. Sincere thanks to Sean Miller of anglo-saxons.net for pointing me in the right direction. I hope I can include this wonderful translation on the site but am a little worried about copyright. Watch this space)
The charter is from the archives of Abingdon Abbey. What is interesting to us is the reference to "strod wic", being either a place or a descriptive term for a type of land holding or area. I recently purchased a copy of "The Origin of English Place Names" by P.H. Reaney and he discusses the use of 'wic' in the sense of 'dairy-farm' or 'farm where domestic animals were kept': and he gives examples as early as 740 (written as uuic) and by 947 such Sussex examples as Gotwick in Rusper identified as gatawic or 'goats' farm'. The charter also mentions 'hlip wic' being a 'dairy farm on a slope' and of course 'strod wic' which Reaney describes as 'marsh dairy-farm'. He then goes on to compare modern equivalents as Lydwicke in Slinfold and Strudgwick Wood in Kirdford (More about Strudgwicks Wood on the selected records section of this site and below).
Remember we are talking of a time before people had surnames and are just looking for the origin of a surname. I was listening to a very interesting radio program (which I wish I had taped & transcribed) that put the whole advent of surnames into perspective. They said something like, previous to a certain date (for the sake of this discussion, lets say previous to 1200) that surnames were localised (perhaps taken from a persons location, profession, public office or some other defining thing about them). As an example, the reason 'Smith' is such a common surname in England is that every village had a Blacksmith or 'Smith' and that was the name given to that person in every village, hence a very common name spread right accross the country without peoples of that name sharing any genetic links with other family groups of the same name.
From this we can suppose that a name like 'Strodwic' was localised to just one or two areas. For instance because the name depends on Anglo-Saxon descriptions in language, 'strod' and 'wic', whereas those descriptions may have been different in language out of the Southern Anglo-Saxon areas of influence. Also take into account the marshy dairy farmland of the Southern Anglo-Saxon counties, another localised feature in both language and make up of the land.
A WOOD CALLED STRODWYCK
I feel quite sure we are close to being able to say where our name originated from or at least as far back as we are likely to be able to go. I have recently located where the 'Wood called Strodwyck, viz in the lands which Elberic Suetemelk once held [in the parish of Keuredeford](Aldebury, 1323)' is or at least where the reminants should be, also mentioned using the latin 'Boscus de Strodwike (wood of Strodwike)' and 'Stodewykeswood, Kyreford' in 1330.
The Strudwicks played their part in the early industries of the Weald being glass and Iron production. I have recently aquired two very interesting books on the subject. The first being 'The Glass Industry of the Weald' by 'G. H. Kenyon'and an earlier work by S.E Winbolt titled Wealden Glass which Kenyon refers to and builds on (Winbolt mentions thanks to 'helpers' including Kenyon in his book of 1933). The books mainly deal with glass production in and around the Kirdford area with Hog and Strudwick Wood and indeed the 'Strudwicks' featuring regularly.
Below is a map (courtesy of multimap) of the area we are going to be looking at. Some interesting points to consider when looking at this map are below.
multimap 1 clearly shows the location of Hog Wood, Ifold and Strudgwick Farmhouse (circled). This 'multimap' aerial photograph is using a 'map overlay' so give it a chance to load before using the cursor to move around the aeriel photograph with the map overlay displayed, then select the 'bigger map' tab on the top right of the ariel photo if it is not already displaying in this mode.
A couple of points to mention about this map are that Kenyon mentions that the Ifold House lands (not the modern day Estate) covered land probably once part of 'Strudwick Wood', again below Hog Wood.
The existance of Strudgwick Farmhouse within the area we expect to find the wood (I have known about this farmhouse for sometime but not that it sits in the presumed location of the wood).
Early record K43/46/18 mentions the wood a few times and must be concerning land very near or around the wood and goes on to say that "Yfold is on the north and east". Now if you take a look at the multimap that shows the location of Ifold which is South of Hog Wood where we expect Strudgwick Wood to be. Infact 'Kenyon' mentions of Hog Wood that "Winbolt calls this Strudwick Wood of which it was possibly once a part" so perhaps it was Strudwick Wood that was once the larger wooded area and it just so happens because of earlier clearing and later development that only a portion of what is now called Hog Wood survives. We can now presume Strudgwick Wood (or what is left of it) is here. I realise this is rather obvious now we have the Farmhouse and the early records but I am looking to join all the dots we have rather than just take one peice of evidence. We also have to remember that hundreds of years ago these woods covered vast areas and would have joined each other making even larger expanses of woodland. We can probably assume Hog Wood joined Strudgwick Wood (or in part where one and the same) which then probably stretched down to another or possibly all the way down to Wephurst Wood (Wephurst also being a name that crops up in the early records that mention Strudgwick Wood ie K43/58/10 dated 1332 mentions both 'Strodwykeswod' and a certain 'William de Wephurst').
Kenyon includes a fourteenth-century deed transcription being "11 August 1385 (GMR. 105/1/119)" which grants "all the underwood of Souzwoude and Stroudwikeswoude, with free ingress and egress to make of the said underwood in the said wood a 'Glashous' and to use it as the office of 'Glasiere' requires," to a certain Robert Pikeboussh and John Shertere. He then goes on to say that taken together, Hog and Strudgwick woods would, today total not far short of 150 acres. I presume he is commenting that at the time of writing the book this is the total size of the two wooded areas that still existed.
Kenyon continues on the subject of Hog Wood, that "Hog Wood today is a large area of woodland (100 acres or so) " and that another deed of 1380 states that the glasshouse was in Shuerewode and the underwood was in Shuerewode and Strowykeswode. He concures that it is possible that both deeds refer to the same areas of woodland and that an alternative name for Shuerewode was by 1385, Souzwoude, "a likely forerunner of Hog Wood". He then concludes that "the two areas of Shire or Sows Wood and Strudgwick Wood may have been closer than the 1200 yards which seperate them today", which would indicate that at the time of writing the book (1966) that Strudgwick Wood was still in existance in some form (Perhaps it is still known as Strudgwick Wood locally but I cannot find it marked on any modern day map). I will investigate this further as I really would like to have some pictures of the wood for the website. It could be possible that Strudgwick Wood is the area of woodland on the aerial photo that surrounds Ifold (or perhaps it could be further south or it is also quite possible that in the 14th century it covered the whole of that area).
We can pick up some more clues from Winbolt who describes Strudgwick Wood as immediately south of the Plaistow-Loxwood road, about 1400 yards east of Plaistow church, and south-west of Ifold House. Looking at the map does this perhaps refer to the woods around Charleshurst Farm? If you zoom in slightly to this wooded area it is also very near to Strudgwick farmhouse (being a modern buiding it would be nice to know if an older building existed on this spot, at a guess I would say yes).
Winbolt and Kenyon did not have the luxury of the internet and transcribed records with search engines and I do not have the time to go physically searching around the country (this has to say something about our modern day lives but I can't quite put it into words right now) but while searching more online archives I discovered more interesting references to Strudgwick wood. A deed of a farm in 1553 mentions "land called Foxbridge, Chappell Field, Strudwick Wood and Swear Wood in Kirdford", I presume 'Swear Wood' is yet another local name for Shuerewode otherwise known as Souzwoude, the forerunner to Hog wood. From what I can remember Foxbridge is another of the farms once held by the Kirdford Strudwicks during the height of their farming years when they once owned or farmed upto a third of all land in Kirdford before their eventual decline. In 1624 another archive records a "wood called Southwood alias Strudwick, W. on land called Pitt. S. on land called Quennells, and N. on highway from Plaistow to Strudwick Wood".
Another batch of online records I have found make interesting reading, the first being from 1590 mentions "Wood and woodground in Kirdford called Strudwyckes Wood or Swerdwood", then again in 1592 the wood is mentioned along with "that pond called Swans Nest Pond" then another in 1759 which describes a parcel of land as "land called Strudwicks Wood, and tenement being part of the great woodground called Strudwicks all in Kirdford". Then later in 1786 Foxbridge and Chapple Fields are mentioned again as being "part of Strudwicks Wood, farm". finally the latest record is from 1803 which describes "lands, meadows, pastures, feedings and coppice grounds called Strudwicks Woods and Shweare Woods".
In conclusion for now, my search for the 'great woodground called Strudwicks' is that the wood once stretched down from 'Shuerewode/Shweare woods/Souzwoude/Sows Wood/Hog wood' (all being the same northern section of this wood) and may have encompased some of what remains of the modern day Hog Wood but would have travelled much farther south making a very large expanse of woodland. It is quite probable that a person travelling through this 'great woodground' would not be aware of a given boundary between the different named woods and it would all have been generally known as Stroudwikeswoude unless you knew otherwise or where refering to a certain part of that great woodland ie the reference to 'Southwood' alias Strudwick Wood in 1624 and the other references to 'and' and 'or' giving the impression that one was not really sure which was which or where one ended and the other began. It would be very handy if the deeds that the above references come from included maps, this is something I will need to look into.
Reading more of Winbolt he also mentions a 'Southwood'. He describes modern map names as being misleading stating that "Strudwick Wood now probably marks only a small part (South of the road) of the wood so named in the fourteenth century", and "Sow Wood has suffered a smug change to "South Wood. " (but this is also a name that was used in 1624 as mentioned above which only adds to the confusion) When Winbolt searched what remains of Strudwicks Wood (south of the road) no sign of a glasshouse was found so he turned his attention to South Wood. After speaking to a keeper who told him of his discovery when a runaway bull entered Hog Copse, that while following his tracks the keeper had noted the spoil to the glasshouse workings. The keeper eventually "blaized a trail by means of two old coats" to lead Winbolt to the spot. Winbolt finishes with the very ammusing anecdote that "No place could be better described by the name Strod-wic, the farm in the marshy place", ending "I would hardly persuade my best enemy to go there." While on the subject of Southwood, I have since discovered a record from 1583 "Lands called the North Wood (being one of the two woods most commonly called the Strodwikes Woods) in Kirdford in occ. of the said John Browne."
I'm not completly sure I have answered anything at this stage but we have certainly turned up some interesting facts and theories along the way. Finding the Winbolt and Kenyon books has added an extra dimension to the project and I can tell from Winbolts work he enjoyed talking to the locals and landowners about what they new of the glasshouses on their land and they enjoyed passing information onto him. He even informs us that Crouchland (Another Strudwick farm at one time) is pronounced locally as 'Crooshland'. It's gems like this that make the project truely come to life.
THE CHICKEN AND THE EGG
What is now puzzling me is what is the connection between Strudgwick Wood and the ancient Sussex family of Strudwicks and which came first. It's a bit like the chicken and egg theory I expect but lets just hope for a lucky break on the research front. From the earlier discussion on early surnames and their origin could it be as simple as the wood existed first because of the descriptive term, ie the Saxon 'Strod wic' meaning 'dairy farm/marsh/clearing with domestic animals' within the wood and then the ancient family that owned and lived on this farm in the middle of this large wood became the 'Strodwyks' when surnames started to be used. Looking at the early records we see examples of William de Petworth, John ate Sydenie, Robert de Petteworthe etc, but we do not see any mention of the likes of William ate Stroudwickswood or William de Stroudwick. The earliest entry we have for the "wood called Strodwyck" is in 1323 (being K43/58/259) and the earliest dated entry we have for a person carrying that name is Richard Strodewyk who is a named witness on K43/47/10 in 1420. Could it be that in 1323 the wood was already ancient and had been known as the "wood called Strodwyck" already for hundreds of years? Is it another possiblity that until around 1420 the family were lower down on the social ladder as not to be included in any records and what we are seeing is the start of their accent to one of the more sucessful Kirdford farming families by the mid sixteenth century until their eventual decline in the mid seventeenth.
I was not planning on updating again only one day after uploading the new page but I have just made a further interesting discovery. It's in the form of a charter from King Henry II c1160 confirming an agreement made between Geldwin fitz Savaric and Savaric his brother concerning the land which was of Ralph their brother, "viz. that Geldwin should have the manor of Easebourne with Midhurst, the vill of Rustington, his portion of Prestbrookes as divided to him, the moiety of the wood of Strodewycks"
This is a very exciting discovery as it proves my theory above that the wood is truely ancient.
(To be continued)
The Glass Industry of the Weald by G. H. Kenyon published by 'Leicester University Press', 1967.
Wealden Glass - The Surrey-Sussex Glass Industry (A.D. 1226 - 1615) by S. E. Winbolt published by 'Combridges, Hove', 1933 (Limited to 500 copies).
The Origin of English Place Names by P.H. Reaney
Research available on this site
The Decendants of William & Betty Strudwick of Alfold, Surrey (William & Betty are my oldest ancestors so far discovered). This page is in development and may at times look a little untidy, you can find more information on Alfold on the Alfold and associated project pages.
Variants - of the Strudwick name collected during my research.
Guildford Settlement Examinations - Extracts from poor law administration records.
Wills and Administrations - Listed wills, admins and indexes.
Selected records from pre 1600 to 1900
Famous Strudwick's through history
Strudwick's listed in the Pubs, Inns and Taverns index for England 1801-1900
Books written by Strudwick's and books about Strudwick's
Miscellaneous - Notes.
The Balchin Family Society has an interesting page on Alfold here
Richard Coates has a very interesting webpage here and is involved with the study of such things as Linguistics, the English language and studies of Sussex place names (possibly of more interest to those who find the early history of Sussex names and minor names interesting, ie farms etc and connections with those of today.) If you are facinated by the names and places that appear in the early records section of this site, this may prove interesting. Richard is also a member of 'Sussex Place-Names Net' who produce 2 journals per year on the subject. These are available online to download but you will need a post-script viewer like ghostscript with GSview.
The West Surrey Family History Site
The website for the West Sussex Record Office
The Sussex Family History Group website
The Surrey History Service is quite an interesting site, if not a little difficult to navigate.
The UK archives network has proved very usefull. Lets hope they keep adding data.
University Publications of America, - Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations. All my USA history links are here until I get more time to sort them.
The Village Laborer 1760-1832: A Study in the Government of England before the Reform Bill. (Do a text search for "Strudwick". - A very large document but it looks very interesting. This document is also available in book form which I will add details of soon.
The pre-Raphaelite Collection by WebMagick, - JOHN MELHUISH STRUDWICK with more information at The home page of Bob Speel.
A database of human genes and genetic disorders, - SEMD, STRUDWICK TYPE
Jason Strudwick at "The Joy of Hockey" - or here is a 10 second avi video of Jason in action, fighting with an opposite team member (apparently fighting in hockey is very common).
Shepperd Strudwick at www.filmsandtv.com
3rd Rock From The Sun episode list: #419 "Dick v. Strudwick". Hilarious episode of the famous comedy series.
Poetry by Eric Strudwick
Nick Strudwicks Poetry Page (another broken link)
Chris Phillips Medieval Genealogy website.
A comprehensive list of batch numbers to help with IGI searches, also includes an introduction and help.
What is the I.G.I.? a definition help page by: Helen S. Ullmann C.G.
Trevor Strudwick's genealogy page
Scott Strudwick's - Box of Tricks (16/05/00, Scott's site is down or has moved. Scott if you read this let me know the new url)
The homepage of Egyptologist Nigel Strudwick. You can get to his Egyptology resource site from there.
Shane Strudwick's Skydiving and Photography site.
Another Vision - Simon Strudwick's homepage. (16/05/00, another broken link)
The Tony Strudwick Band - Brings glamour to every function.
Strudwick Fishing Rods - of Australia. These are the guys that have STRUDWICK.COM
My brother Rob's "London Slang" page.
The Society of Genealogists website