Last name: Warden

Recorded as Warden and Worden, this long-established surname has two distinct origins, each with its own history and derivation. Firstly, it may have originated as an occupational name for a watchman or guard, deriving from the Norman French word "wardein", one who guards. The surname from this source has the distinction of being first recorded in the Domesday Book (see below). Other early recordings include: Walter Wardein (Oxfordshire, 1273), and John le Wardeyn (Cambridgeshire, 1289). Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The second possibility is locational from any of the various places called Warden in England. These places include: Warden, a parish and village in Northumberland, recorded as "Waredun", circa 1175; the parish of Warden, east of Queenborough in Kent; Old Warden, in Bedfordshire, appearing as "Wardone" in the Domesday Book of 1086; and also Warden in Northamptonshire. In 1232, one Symon de Waredon was noted in Records of Clerkenwell (Kent). A notable bearer of the name was William Warden (1777 - 1849), a naval surgeon, in attendance on Napoleon during his voyage to, and in St. Helena (1815). A coat of arms granted to the family has the blazon of a black shield with a silver lion rampant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Wluric Uuerdenus, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book of Hertfordshire. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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