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Surname Sedgewick - Meaning and Origin

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Sedgewick: What does the surname Sedgewick mean?

The surname Sedgewick is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is derived from a location's name. The name references to someone who lived by a sedge, which is a type of plant that commonly grows near marshes or other areas of wetland. The suffix "wick" stems from an Old English term meaning "farm" or "village". Therefore, the full name Sedgewick could potentially mean "seashore farm" or "farm located by the marshes". The name itself is thought to have first appeared in West Yorkshire in England. As with many surnames linked to geographical features, it is quite likely that several unrelated families adopted the Sedgewick surname, which is why this surname is prevalent in several different parts of the UK. Since surnames regularly served as a means of identifying where someone was from, the adoption of such a surname made sense. Today, the surname Sedgewick can be found around the world, spread by emigration, but is still most common in England and other English-speaking countries.

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Sedgewick: Where does the name Sedgewick come from?

The last name Sedgewick is most commonly found today in the United States and Canada. It is a fairly uncommon name, so it may occasionally also appear in other parts of the English-speaking world, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

The surname Sedgewick has English origins and first appears in medieval documents from England dating back to 1177. At the time, it was a place name derived from a location in what is now Northumberland, England. The place name itself was derived from Old English words meaning “rocky corner” or “sedgy corner”, referring to a rocky outcrop in the area.

In the United States, the surname Sedgewick is mainly concentrated in the Midwestern states, especially in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. According to one survey, the name more than doubled in frequency in these states from 2000 to 2010. It is also found in smaller numbers in other parts of the US including California, New York, and Texas.

In 2013, data from the US Census estimated that the number of people bearing the name Sedgewick in the country was around 5,800, indicating that, while not very common, the name is not at all rare.

Variations of the surname Sedgewick

The surname Sedgewick can be spelled in a variety of ways, including Sedgewick, Sedgwick, Sedgwicke, Sedgwike, Sedgwik, and Sedgewicke. These variants are all of the same origin and likely refer to a location, deriving from the Old English words “sæd”, for “sedge”, meaning a type of grass, and “wic”, meaning a fortified settlement. Sedgewick therefore refers to a settlement near a patch of sedge grass.

Surnames of the same origin traced to the same locale may include Judd, Sedge, Sargeant, and Seward. These surnames are derived from a similar root of the Old English words for “sedge” and “settlement.” An alternate spelling for this surname and related surnames would be – Seward, Seaward, Seaword, Saward, and Sawerd.

In early English records, Sedgewick is often recorded alongside various diminutive forms such as Sedgely, Sedgley, Sedgle, and Sedgel. Other spellings of the same surname that appear in historic records include Segge, Sedgre, and Segg.

All of these variations stem from the same Old English roots and refer to a settlement near a patch of sedge grass. Although records can vary significantly, most of these variations can be traced to origins in areas such as the Midlands, and particularly the counties of Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, and Lancashire.

Famous people with the name Sedgewick

  • Bronson Snedegewick: British-born American actor best remembered for his role in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's.
  • Edie Sedgwick: American model, actress, and socialite best known for her association with the pop artist Andy Warhol.
  • Robert Sedgewick: American computer scientist and author and the William O. Baker Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University.
  • Toby Sedgwick: English actor best known for his roles in popular British television series such as Doctor Who and Red Dwarf.
  • Sedgewick Wayne: American actor best known for his roles in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Santa Clause.
  • William S. Sedgwick: IRA Volunteer and an early leader of the Irish Republican Army.
  • Mark Sedgwick: British Academy Award-nominated film composer and music arranger.
  • Stephen Sedgwick: cricketer who represented Ireland between 1905 and 1910.
  • Sefton Snedegewick: British Army Officer awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his role in World War I.
  • Richard B. Sedgwick: American economist, author, and professor of economics at Harvard University.

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