This interesting surname has a very ancient history either of Celtic or Anglo-Saxon origin. It is a regional name either from Arden, north east of Stockport in Cheshire, or from the district thus called in Warwickshire where the old forest, supposed to be the origin of Shakespeare's "Forest of Arden", is situated. Both places were initially recorded as "Arderne" in the 13th Century Curia Regis Rolls of the respective counties, and are believed to be linguistically identical with the forest of the Ardennes in France and Belgium, so called from a Celtic word meaning "high". Alternatively, the name may be Anglo-Saxon in origin, derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "eardaern", dwelling-house. The surname has the distinction of being first recorded in the Domesday Book, and the namebearer is shown to have held more lands than any other non-Norman Englishman. One Heloise de Arderne was noted in early medieval records of Norfolk, dated 1171, and 13th Century entries of the name abound in Cheshire Church Registers. They include the birth of Walkelyn de Arderne, son of John de Arderne and Margaret de Aldford, at Aldford, in 1216. A notable bearer of the name was John Arderne (flourished 1370), known as "the first great English surgeon". No less than twenty Coats of Arms have been granted to this illustrious family, the one most associated with the name being a red shield with six crosses crosslet fitchee, and a gold chief. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thurkill de Warwick, also known as Thurkill de Arden, which was dated circa 1085, in the Domesday Book of Warwickshire, during the reign of King William 1, known as "William 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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