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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Az. a portcullis or.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Ludgate Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Ludgate Origin:


Origins of Ludgate:

According to the early recordings of the spellings of the name, this Lidgate, and unique is name listed in many forms containing Lidgate, Liddiatt, Lidgett, Lydiatt, Liggett, Ludgate, and Ludgater, this interesting surname is English. It is either a geographical name from an apartment by a swing-gate. It could be a guarded gate in a city wall, one that could be turned to the side, or it may describe a similar system to prevent cattle moving into the ploughed lands from a pasture. The origin is from the Olde English pre 7th Century words "hlid-geat." Sometimes the surname was geographical from any of the several places named with this word. These places contain Lidgate in the divisions of Suffolk, Yorkshire, and Derbyshire. Lidgett near Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire, and Lugat in the lordship of Stow, Midlothian, Scotland as well as the famous Ludgate Hill in the (now) city of London. Geographical surnames were among the initially formed since both original and artificial characteristics in the view provided easily identifiable different names in the small towns of the Middle Ages, and locational names originally were given as a source of classification to those who departed from their mother town to settle any other place. Early examples of the surname contain the Philip atte Lidgate, Yorkshire, in 1274, Richard de la Lydeyate of Staffordshire, in 1280, and John atte Lygate of Sussex, in 1332. Other examples of the surname record contain as William Ludgate who married Susan Mason at St James Parish, Clerkenwell, London, in October 1634, and in February 1697, Elizabeth Liggett and Jonathan Bushell, who married at St. James Parish, Duke's Place, also the city of London.


More common variations are: Lidgate, Lydgate, Ledgate, Ludgaet, Ladygaite, Ludkte, Ladgade, Luedkta.


The origins of the surname Ludgate appeared in Cheshire where people held a family seat from old times. Some say better before the success of Normans and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings 1066 A.D.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Ralph de Lidgate, dated about 1250, in the "Pipe Rolls of Sussex." It was during the time of King Henry III who was known to be the “The Frenchman," dated 1216 - 1272. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling variations of the original one.


Many of the people with surname Ludgate had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.


People with the surname Ludgate who settled in Canada in the 19th century included Patrick Ludgate at the age of 26, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Thomas Hanford" from Cork, Ireland.


Some of the individuals with the surname Ludgate who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Charles Ludgate arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1846.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Ludgate: England 543; United States 376; Canada 188; Australia 130; New Zealand 57; Ireland 49; Wales 2; American Samoa 2; Span 1; France 1.

Notable People:

Percy Edwin Ludgate (August 1883 – October 1922) was an analyst in Dublin and artist of Analytical Engine.

William Ludgate (March 1836–June 1912) was a Captain in the Union Army and a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in the American Civil War. He attended the Army from New York City in May 1861 and was attached to the 82nd New York Infantry, rising to the status of Sergeant Major. He re-enlisted as a veteran in March 1864 and was assigned to the 59th New York Soldier, where he was employed as an officer in September 1864.

April Roberta Ludgate-Dwyer (portrayed by Aubrey Plaza) is a fictional role in the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation. She was first seen as an unresponsive college student working as an intern.

Ludgate Coat of Arms Meaning

The main device (symbol) in the Ludgate blazon is the portcullis. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and or.

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2.

The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.3. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 4. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.5.

The portcullis is the strong metal framework used to secure the drawbridge of a castle, and is often drawn alongside the chains used to raise it up. 6 We should therefore not be surprised that Wade assigns to it the meaning of “ an effectual protection in emergency”. 7 The symbol also occurs on small value British coinage.

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  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 3 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27
  • 4 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85
  • 5 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Portcullis
  • 7 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P108