Last name: Arden

This name is of English locational origin from any of three places thus called in Yorkshire North Riding, Cheshire or the Forest of Arden in Warwickshire. The former derives its name from the Olde English pre 7th Century "earn", an eagle plus "denu" a valley. Hence, "The valley of the eagles". The latter two places are believed to be linguistically identical with the forest of the Ardennes in France and Belgium, named from the Celtic word "ard" meaning "high". The Warwick Ardens descended from an Anglo-Saxon nobleman called Aelfwine, who was sheriff of that county, circa 1050. His son is the first recorded namebearer, (see below). The "de" prefix was dropped around 1420. The Arden family, who held the estate of Longcroft in Staffordshire from 1569, to the end of the 19th Century, can trace their ancestry back to the year 1000. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thurkill de(of) Warwick, also known as Thurkill de Arden, which was dated 1086, The Domesday Book for Warwickshire, during the reign of King William I, The Conqueror, 1066 - 1087. 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.

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