This rare name, found almost exclusively in the northern counties of Derbyshire and Yorkshire, is a late variant of either of the more familiar surnames Blackden or Blagden, which are of Anglo-Saxon origin, and are locational names deriving (in Northern England) from Blackden in Cheshire or Blagdon in Northumberland. The place in Cheshire is recorded as "Blakden, Blakeden" in the 1304 "Accounts of the Chamberlains of the County of Chester", and Blagdon in Northumberland is "Blakedenn" in the 1203 Curia Rolls of the county; both placenames mean "the black or dark valley", and are derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century "blaec", black, dark-coloured, and "denu", valley, dene. Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere; regional dialectal influences and varying standards of literacy subsequently gave rise to different forms of the original name. The following are illustrative of the development of the modern surname forms: Richard Blackdon (1598, Northumberland); Richard Blackden (1627, ibid.); Robert Blackdin (1665, Yorkshire); John Blagdin (1696, ibid.); and Thomas Blackten (1720, Derbyshire). Recordings of the name from Church Registers include that of the marriage of Thomas Blacktin and Margrett Redfearne, in Chelmorton, Derbyshire, on August 6th 1683. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francis Blackton, which was dated April 16th 1627, marriage to Jane Pape, at Barton St. Mary, Yorkshire, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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