The surname Hedge of Hedges is a local name meaning “at the hedge”, a modern form of At-Hedge, meaning someone who lived near a hedge, or a group of bushes and shrubs growing closely together that forms a boundary. One author describes a hedge as “a fence of thorn bushes, a thicket of shrubs, or an inclosure of shrubs or small trees”. It derives from the Old English word hecg. The word is of Germanic origin and is related to the German word hecke and Dutch word heg or heege. Other spelling variants include Hegges or Hegge.
In the Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, two people with this surname are mentioned: John de la Hegge of county Kent and Walter de la Hegge of London. An Edith ate Hegge was recorded in county Somerset in during the reign of Edward III in Kirby’s Quest. Another early notable was William ate Hegge recorded in the 26th year of the reign of Edward III. The Assize Rolls of Bedfordshire records an Ailmer Hegge in 1227 AD.
One author notes that the principal home of the name is Bucks, but it also is frequently found in Berks, Herford, and Oxford counties, and that the name still occurs in Stewkely. In the eighteenth century, a gentry family that resided at Cublington bore this surname.
The Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers of America lists a Tristram Hedges, of Boston, who married Ann Nickerson (daughter of William) in 1657 and one child Grace born in 1659. It also mentions a William Hedges, a freeman from 1648, who married Mary Andrews (daughter of Henry) who had two sons named John and Henry. A Robert Hedges came to Jamestown, Virginia in 1624.
Some famous early notables include William Hedges (1632-1701) who was a British merchant and colonial administrator who served as the first governor of the East India Company and Charles Hedges (1649-1714) of Wiltshire who was an English judge.
In his essay English Surname, Mark Antony Lower states “There is a great disposition among the illiterate to pluralize their names, as Woods and Wood, Holms for Holme, Reeves for Reeve”.