This is an English locational surname. Recorded in the spellings of Balden, Beldon, Baildon, Bayldon, and no doubt others, it originates from the ancient town of Baildon, in the former West Riding of Yorkshire. Baildon is first recorded as a place name in the spelling of 'Baegeltun' in the Yorkshire Charters of the year 1030. This pre-dates the Norman Invasion of 1066, usually regarded as the start of 'modern history'. The place name and hence the later surname, could mean ' berry hill' or 'the place where the berries grow', but more logically it was probably 'fire hill' from the Olde English pre 7th century 'bel dun', and a reference to a hill where a beacon was provided to warn against the ever likely invasion from the east, or the raids from the north by the Scots. The surname is much later, and is a 'from' name. This is to say that it was given to people after they left Baildon and moved elsewhere, although 'elsewhere' could be the next village. In the small communities of the Middle Ages, the easiest way of identifying a stranger was to call him, or sometime her, by the name of the place from whence they came. This also lead to the development of variant spellings of the surname, partly because of local accents which were very thick, and partly because of education, or rather for 95% of the population, lack of it. Early examples of the surname recording include: John Baildon, who married Mary Copley, at Kippax, near Leeds in the year 1520, the precise date is not recorded, and Hillary Baildon, christened at Methley, West Riding of Yorkshire, on June 1st 1558. Other recordings also taken from the surviving early church registers of Yorkshire include: Francis Beldon of Royston, on October 10th 1608, and William Balden of Thornton in Craven, on October 18th 1795.
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