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Ged Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: DURAT DITAT PLACET (it sustains, enriches, pleases)

Let me share with you the intriguing history of your family, the Geds, passed down through the generations. The name Ged derives from the Scots word for a pike, a fierce fish. The arms of both Ged and Geddes proudly display three pikes, a heraldic representation and clever play on words associated with the bearer’s name. Interestingly, the English name for this fish is ‘luce,’ and several Norman families, such as De Lucy, also bear coats of arms featuring these fish. The surname Ged likely emerged from different sources, such as someone living in a place called Ged (‘de Ged’), someone whose profession involved fishing (‘le Ged’), or as a nickname. However, the most probable origin is a territorial one. Many lands in Scotland bear names associated with the pike, which can also be seen in the plural form as Geddes. For example, Ged Point, a prehistoric mound in Kells parish in Dumfries and Galloway, is a mysterious landmark whose connection to the name Ged remains unclear. Another possible origin for both the Ged and Geddes surnames is the village of Geddes, located south of Nairn in the far north of Scotland. It is likely that a knightly landowner assumed the name of this place, and subsequently, his children and grandchildren carried on the name as they spread throughout Scotland.

While the earliest mentions of individuals bearing the name Ged in Scotland are relatively late, it is important to note that this is a result of the destruction of Scottish records rather than a reflection of the name’s status. One Lawrence Ged, for example, is recorded as a juror at an inquest in Linlithgowshire in 1304, indicating a certain standing in his community. In 1558, a William Geddes lost his life in a feud with the Tweedie family. Another notable figure, William Ged, a goldsmith in Edinburgh, made a significant contribution to the science of printing in 1725 when he invented stereotyping. He later relocated to London in 1729, where he formed a partnership to establish and promote his innovative printing process. Although William Ged passed away before witnessing the full establishment of his invention, his fame brought recognition and benefits to his family. His son, James, served as a captain in the Duke of Perth’s regiment and fought alongside Prince Charles Edward Stuart in the Forty-five Jacobite uprising. Following the prince’s defeat at Culloden, James was captured and condemned to death. However, through the intervention of the Duke of Newcastle, his life was spared.

 
 
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Family Crest Motto: DURAT DITAT PLACET (it sustains, enriches, pleases)

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