Recorded in several forms including Seed, Seeds, Seedman and Sedman, this is a surname of two possible English origins. The first is as a medieval job descriptive surname for a "dealer in seed", this being a very important occupation in those ancient times, and one of the very few which has continued almost unchanged, down into the late 20th century. It derives from the Olde English pre 7th century word "sidu', meaning "pure", and as such was used in a transferred sense to describe the new seed for planting. Secondly it was also used as an Anglo-Saxon male baptisimal name in its own right, although it is not clear whether this origin survived the Norman Conquest of 1066, when it became politically correct to adopt French or Biblical names associated with the famous Crusaders. One of the very earliest of all name recordings, although almost certainly not that of a hereditary surname, is that of 'Sydeman', who appears in the Cartulari Saxonicum rolls of the year 931 a.d, and who may have been a "seedman". Other early recordings include Johannes Sede of the county of Norfolk in the Curia Regis rolls of the year 1210, and Robert Sedeman, also of Norfolk in the same rolls but in 1219. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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