ELDRIDGE - Origins of the name with variant spellings
The name ELDRIDGE or ELDREDGE is an uncommon name of English extraction. The name ELDRED referred to several Saxon kings who ruled England in the 8th and 9th centuries. Eldson C. SMITH in his book American Surnames, claimed the name originated in the area of Kent, England, and meant “plank bridge”.
Variations of the name have been found in the American colonies. John EELDRED, Great Saxham, England, was for 15 years, a director of the Virginia Company of London. The Mayflower pilgrims received their patent for land from this company. It is possible that William, Robert, Samuel, John and Nathaniel ELDRIED or ELDRED who came to the new colonies between 1635-1645 were related to John ELDRED. Descendants became numerous in the Cape Cod region before migrating to Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
The name John ELDRIDGE appears in 1680 as one, along with William PENN, to whom the Duke of York conveyed all his interest in West New Jersey.
Prior to the Revolutionary War, families with the name or its variations were living in 8 counties in New Jersey, and by 1790, ELDRIDGE had become the 1,276th most common surname in America with 22,115 bearing that name.
The ancestor’s identity who settled in Davenport, Scott County, Iowa, United States, in 1836 is still shrouded in mystery. Professional genealogists have searched for Duncan Campbell ELDRIDGE’s ancestor, who most certainly came to the New World before the Revolutionary War. This person may or may not have been a Quaker, and, if not, converted to the Friends’ way through marriage into prominent Quaker families.
We know that William ELDRIDGE who married Deborah MALANDAR in Pennsylvania in 1761 were Duncan’s grandparents. The only clues we have about William’s father are scraps of hearsay.
In 1926, Theophilus Burt ELDRIDGE prepared a typewritten family history. William was the son of Thomas, and that William was born 1 April 1738, no birthplace given.
REFERENCE: The Eldridge-Bawden Families, The Ancestry and Descendants of Duncan Campbell ELDRIDGE and Stephen BAWDEN of Scott County, Iowa; Author-compiler Alice Richardson Sloane, C.G. (dec 2011); commissioned by John Duvall Bawden, Bettendorf, IA (dec 1992). Anundsen Publishing Co., Decorah, IA 1986, pps1-5, vinyl bound, 293 pps with photos.