This interesting and unusual name is of Medieval English origin and is a dialectal variant of a locational name Benenden from a place so called in Kent. The derivation is from an Old English personal name 'Bionna' with 'denn', swine pasture, thus 'the swine pasture of Bionna's people', first recorded in the Register of Hyde Abbey in 993 as 'Bingidene' and 'Bynidene', in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Benindene', and as 'Bynindeun' in the 1242 Fees of Kent. During the Middle Ages, as it became increasingly necessary for people to leave their native home to seek work elsewhere, they would often adopt the placename as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. In St. Lawrence, Thanet, Kent, one Richard Bending married Martha Alderston on January 24th 1682. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joan Benden (christening), which was dated October 5th 1546, Harrietsham, Kent, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, 'Good Queen Bess', 1558-1603. 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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