The English surname Dudley, also found in Ireland, is an habitational name from Dudley in the West Midlands, named from the Old English personal name Dudda and the Old English word leah meaning “ a woodland clearing.” When found in Ireland it is chiefly in county Cork in the southern province of Munster. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gladdewin de Duddeleia, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire." Andrew Dudley is the first recorded reference in the New World arriving in Virginia in 1622. Today there are approximately 35,000 bearers of the name Dudley in the US.
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