This is an Anglo-Saxon surname, and is locational from Baxenden near Accrington in East Lancashire, the suffix "den" having practically the same meaning as "dale", meaning a valley and being interchangeable in the district. The placename means "Bakestone valley", deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "baecstan", a bakestone, which was a flat stone on which bread and cakes were baked and "denu" a valley. The Middle English word "dale" was often substituted for "den" particularly in northern localities. The surname was first recorded in the early part of the 14th Century (see below). On May 4th 1539, Richard Backsonden and Jane Nelson were married in Croston, Lancashire. Katherine Backstendeyle married a William Sutche in Ormskirk, on October 21st 1595, and on October 13th 1674, the marriage of Thomas Baxendale and Elizabeth Hunter took place, also in Ormskirk. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Bakestonden, which was dated 1332, in the "Lay Subsidy Rolls of Lancashire", 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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