Meaning and Origin of: Dudley
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First name origins & meanings:
- Old English : People's meadow
First name variations
Last name origin & meaning:
- English and Irish : habitational name from Dudley in the West Midlands, named from the Old English personal name Dudda (see Dodd) + Old English lēah ‘woodland clearing’.
- Irish (County Cork) : English name adopted by bearers of Gaelic Ó Dubhdáleithe ‘descendant of Dubhdáleithe’, a personal name composed of the elements dubh ‘black’ + dá ‘two’ + léithe ‘sides’.
- Thomas Dudley (1576–1653), born at Northampton, England, sailed on the Arbella to Salem, MA, in 1630 with the chief men of the Massachusetts Bay Company. They first settled at Newtown. Dudley subsequently moved to Ipswich but then permanently settled at Roxbury. He was elected four times as governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and as one of the two commissioners for the colony when the New England Confederation was formed in 1643. He was one of the first overseers of Harvard University, and in 1650, as governor, signed the charter for that institution. Dudley’s seventh and most noted child, Joseph (1647–1720) was also governor of MA (1702–15).