Recorded in the spellings of Abdon, Abden, Ebden, Ebdin, and Ebdon, this interesting English surname with overlapping spellings is locational. It is believed to originate either from the village of Abdon in Shropshire, or from Ebdon village in the county of Somerset, or in the north of England possibly as a local dialectal variant of the town of Hebden, now known as Hebden Bridge, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Abdon in Shropshire is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Abbetune", which suggests that was a farm (ton) belonging to a local Abbey, possibly Shrewsbury. Hebden in Yorkshire, was also first recorded in Domesday Book. The spelling is from the Old English words "heope", meaning rose-hips, and "denu", a valley, whilst Ebdon in Somerset is believed to be "Ebb's valley". The prefix "Eb(be)" was a popular ancient name going back to pre Roman times. Early examples of the surname recordings include Clement Ebdon, at Colyton, Devon, on June 4th 1567, Susanna Abdon at the church of St Mary Magdalene, city of London, on July 11th 1613, and Gregorye Ebdon, who married Katheren Symons on July 26th 1613, at St. Mary's church, Ottery St Mary, Devon. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Johannes Ebden, on July 27th 1540 at the church of St Olaves, York. This was during the reign of King Henry V111 (1510 - 1547). He was known as "Bluff King Hal", which given his predeliction for putting his wives to death, may have been a somewhat sardonic reference. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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