This fascinating and long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century male given name "Aetheldaeg", cognate with the Old German "Aildag", a compound of the elements "aethel", noble, and "daeg", day. "Aildeig" (without surname) is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 for Norfolk, and the forms "Aeldiet, Aeldit, Aldgid", and "Aldid", also recorded in the Domesday Book, and deriving from the Olde English "Ealdgyth", a name meaning "Old Combat", may also have contributed to the surname. Pre 7th Century Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse baptismal names were usually distinctive compounds whose elements were often associated with the Gods of Fire, Water and War. By the Middle English period the above mentioned names had taken the forms "Alday, Aldaye" and "Aldy". One John Aldaye and a Thomas Aldy were noted in Records of Kent in 1455 and 1534 respectively, and on February 19th 1556, Edward Allday, an infant, was christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a red shield, with an ermine chevron between three griffins segreant of the second, those in chief respecting each other. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Alday, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Edward 111, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377. 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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