Kidd Surname Genealogy

is both an English and Scottish surname. Kidd
in England derived from the Old English kid, a young
goat, and was probably
a nickname for a lively, frisky person. In
Scotland, the name was regional to Angus on the east coast and was a
pet form of Christopher. Kyd was an
early spelling in both England and Scotland.

Kidd Resources on

Kidd Ancestry

Scotland. Kidd
is an old Angus surname found in both Dundee and Arbroath in
Forfarshire. The first recorded was Robert
Kidd of Dundee
in 1357. Sande Kid and Thoma Kyd
appeared at an inquest at Forfar in 1450. The Burgess Roll of Dundee noted
twenty Kyds and Kidds in Dundee during the 1500’s. One rumor is
that these Kidds had originated from Flemish immigrants who had settled
in the Dundee area.

John Kyd or Kidd was born in the small village
of Kettins in Angus sometime in the 1620’s.
A seaman, he married Bessie Butchard in 1646, but was lost at
sea in
1659. Their young son William was
thirteen years old at the time. He grew up
to be the famous pirate Captain Kidd.

historians have deemed his piratical reputation unjust, as there was
evidence that
Kidd acted only as a privateer. Kidd’s
fame sprang largely from the sensational circumstances of his
before the English Parliament and the ensuing trial in 1700.”

At this trial, Captain
was found guilty on charges of murder and
five counts of piracy and was hanged in London. Kidd’s male line
died out when his only son John was killed at the Battle of Culloden in

Kyd family held the barony of Craigie near Dundee during the 17th and
18th centuries. Captain James Kyd of the Royal Navy sold the
family estate in the late 1700’s.
One Kidd family line goes back to David Kidd who married Lilias Fleming in Dundee in 1753; another to John Kyd who married Joan Reid in Arbroath in
1768. The Kidd name had also extended to Fife by this
time. One line at Kilconquhar in Fife has been traced back to
David Kid, born around the year 1640.

Kydd, a shoemaker, married Mary Shand in Arbroath in 1864 and their son
Shand Kydd was born in the same year. In
1891 he founded the Shand Kydd wallpaper company
in London which was to make the family fortune. When
he died in 1936, he left over £200,000, worth about £11 million at
prices. His wallpaper business was taken
up by his son Norman, said to have been the originator of flock
wallpaper, and then
by his grandson Peter

Kidds in England seem to have their origins in the Craven district of
NW Yorkshire. The Craven 1377 tax inspectors
found five Kyd families
there – in Clapham, Giggleswick, Gisburn, Ingleton and
Settle. The main numbers in the following centuries were in
Giggleswick and Settle, including:

  • Richard Kidd, born in Giggleswick in 1530, who came from a large
    of sheep farmers, weavers, and wool traders.
  • John Kidd
    who was one of the first Quakers in Settle in
    1652. His grandson Benjamin was a well-known Quaker
    minister in the next century.
  • and Thomas Kidd, born in 1770 and educated at Giggleswick School,
    who became a distinguished classical scholar.

Over time the Kidd name spread north into Durham and west into

Ireland. Sometime in the 1630’s Walter Kid, a linen
merchant from Scotland, came to Dunluce in county Antrim.
His descendants moved to Millmount Keady in
Armagh in the 1740’s.

Meanwhile Richard
Kidd from Settle in Yorkshire was first recorded in Dublin in 1637. These Kidds later spread southward to the
Wicklow/Wexford border. The principal concentration was at
Askamore in county
Wexford where they were substantial landowners.

“Thomas Kidd, born in 1750 and a
fifth generation Kidd there, lived to be a hundred.
He was, according to family lore, married
three times – fathering eight children by his second wife and three by
third wife, the last being born when Thomas was eighty one.”

Another line via Peter Kidd, a clothier in
Dublin, led to a Quaker family in Limerick and to Dr. Joseph Kidd, born
there in
1824. He moved to London in the 1850’s
where he established a homeopathic practice.
He was physician to both W.E. Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli

America. The first Kidd in America was probably Roger
Kidd, a servant to Robert Scotchmore, who came to Virginia on the George in 1623. But Roger
died in 1632, leaving no descendants.

Kidd, also an indentured servant, came to Virginia from Cambridgeshire
in 1648. He settled in Middlesex county
and did leave
descendants. The main line of descent
was via his younger son William and his six sons. These
sons later spread across Virginia and
their descendants to North Carolina, Georgia and Missouri.

Irish. John Kidd
appears to have come to America from Ireland in the 1740’s,
eventually settling at South Fishing Creek in York county, South
Carolina. He fought during the
Revolutionary War at the
Battle of King’s Mountain and, according to his grandson, was crippled
life. His son John and wife Sarah
migrated first to Kentucky, returned to South Carolina, and then in
departed for new lands in Antioch, Georgia where they built a church
and school in
the community.

Other Irish arrivals were:

  • Andrew
    Kidd who came with
    his wife Martha from county Tyrone, eventually settling in Cecil
    Maryland in 1754. His descendants moved
    first to Virginia and then to Illinois and Indiana.
  • and
    Samuel Kidd who came to America from county
    Armagh in 1808, first stopping in Virginia and then moving with his
    wife Pamela
    to Ohio in 1813. Their son George fought
    with the US army in Texas, but died there of yellow fever in 1844.

Alexander Kidd and his wife Christiana came to
Ontario from Scotland in 1815, first staying in Perth county and
then moving
to Dummer township, Peterborough county in 1831. Their
descendants have held regular reunions.

Also arriving in Canada around this time was Andrew
Kidd from Kilkenny in Ireland (his father Robert having been killed during the 1798
Irish uprising) . He
settled with his family an an area known as the Derry in
the Ottawa valley. Andrew’s descendants
are still farming there
today. Dr. George Kidd covered these Kidds in his 1943 book The Story of the Derry.

William Kidd from Ireland was a pioneer settler at Burritt’s Rapids in
county, Ontario. His son Edward and
grandson Thomas were active in local politics there.

This William was also the forebear of a Kidd
family that would later become famous in England. The
line here extended to William Ennis Kidd, a
padre in World War One who was awarded the Military Cross in 1916, and
to Major
Thomas Kidd who married Janet Aitken, Lord Beaverbook’s daughter, in
1942. Their son Johnny was an English show-jumping champion and
international jetsetter who
made his home in Barbados. Johnny’s
daughters were the models Jemma and Jodie Kidd.

Joseph Kidd meanwhile left Ireland for Ontario in 1824, settling near Lake Simcoe.

Australia. Alexander
Kidd from Dundee came on the Denmark Hill
to Sydney in 1828. He was a shipwright
by trade working along the Manning river.

“The Mary Ann,
built by Alexander in 1842, was a two masted 38 ton schooner. The vessel traded between the Manning and
Sydney until 1849 when she was wrecked off Harrington.”

James Kidd, a gardener from Fife, was convicted of forging a one pound
note and transported to
Australia. He arrived in Sydney on the Burrell in 1830. His family
followed. He ended up as the
Superintendent of the
Sydney Botanic Gardens

New Zealand. Two Thomas
Kidds from Ulster migrrated to New Zealand. The first from Keady
in county Armagh came to Auckland with his family in 1859 on the Shalimar. Their story was
recounted in G.E. Kidd’s 2009 book The
Kidd Family in New Zealand.
The second Thomas Kidd, from
county Down, arrived in 1863. He fought in the Maori wars but did
not stay. He settled instead ten years later in British Columbia in Canada.

Select Kidd Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Select Kidd Names


was a famous and notorious
Scottish pirate who was hanged in 1701.
William Shand
from Arbroath started the Shand
Kydd brand of wallpaper in
London in 1891.
Michael Kidd
, born
Milton Greenwald, was an American film and stage choreographer who staged some of the leading Broadway and film musicals
of the 1940’s and 1950’s

Select Kidds Today

  • 12,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Yorkshire)
  • 12,000 in America (most numerous in Ohio)
  • 8,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)




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