Recorded as Hederich, Hedrich, Heddrich, Hedderich, Hedditeh, Hettrich, Hettricher, Hetterich, and others, in most spellings, this is probably a surname of Germanic origins. There seems to be some doubt over the origination, the World Dictionary of Surnames quotes it as being from the early pre 7th century compound name 'Haduric' meaning battle-rule, whilst the German 'Etymologisches Worterbruch der Deutschen' claims also that it is a compound, but from Heidenrich which means 'pagan rule'. This goes to prove that if you have the opinions of two experts, they will certainly disagree. Our opinion is that it looks more like Haduric, and that the links appear to cross, but it may also in some spellings be from a totally different source altogether, perhaps even muslim or hebrew. European compound names of this type which often appear to extoll the virtues of war, battle, and conflict as well as total the contradiction of religion, counsel and godliness, seem to sum up the period of history called 'The Dark Ages', when civilisation failed after the fall of the Roman Empire. This may be one which we ourselves in the 21st century are heading for very rapidly indeed. The first example of the surname recording may be that of Heinrich Hedericus, given as being the Prior of Colbatz, in the year 1243.