This rather unusual surname is another one that occurs rather a way back in my family tree. On interpretation is that it is of French origin, meaning ‘of the promise’. However, I found this rather interesting entry on the Depledge message board on Ancestry, which is, sadly, probably more likely:
The last bit of the name, as in Routledge and Cumberledge, comes from an Old English word meaning boggy stream, so I was intrigued to find, inside the circle I mentioned, a place called Deepcar. Car or Carr comes from an Old Norse word meaning a wetland, and Deepcar, part of Stocksbridge, lies in a steep-sided valley where the Little Don joins the Don. But that doesn't explain away an awkward gap of five hundred years between the Viking invasions in the ninth century and the general use of inherited surnames in the fourteenth.
(By Ancestry.co.uk member Roger_Depledge)
The entry also mentions that the name is fairly localised, with over half the occurrences between 1780 and 1839 within a seventeen-mile circle encompassing the Wakefield area.
It gives a fascinating list of 28 spelling variations in the period 1517–1922: Daplege, De Pledge, Depeledge, Deplage, Deplech, Depledge, Deplege, Deplich, Depliche, Deplidg, Deplidge, Deplige, Deplitch, Deplitche, Deplytch, Deppledge, Depplidge, Diplache, Diplage, Diplidg, Diplidge, Diplige, Dippleach, Dupelidge, Duplych, Dypledge.
My 4x Great-Grandmother is Mary Depledge is the maternal grandmother of Albert Thomas Thompson (husband of Edith Marian Buswell). She marries Thomas Semley on 4 September 1842 at St James church, Thornes, Wakefield. She is aged of 19, giving a birth date of about 1823. Her father’s name is given as John.
There is a probable baptism record for Mary at Sandal Magna on 10 May 1827, which supplies the mother’s name, Mary. On the 1851 census Mary gives her place of birth as Crigglestone, so Sandal Magna seems to be the most likely of the baptisms I can find. The only question I have why the same couple would have apparently baptised a son George Depledge in July 1823 and another son John Depledge in January 1827, but not Mary if she was already born?
I’m having trouble making out John occupation on the marriage records (see images below), so if anyone had any suggestions I would be extremely grateful. In the possible baptisms of Mary and John’s children, occupations for John are diverse: wool carder, labourer, woodcutter... However, these might not all be the same family. This lot are definitely still a work in progress!