This very interesting surname, widely recorded in Church Registers of southern England from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings Blundon, Blundin, Blundan, Blonden and Blondin, appears to be of locational origin from some minor, unrecorded, or now "lost" place called Blunden, having as its component elements an obscure Anglo-Saxon male given name, "Bluwa, Pluwo" (also forming the first element of Blunham in Bedfordshire), and the Olde English pre 7th Century "denn", (swine-) pasture. "Denn" is widespread as a second element in placenames of Kent and Sussex where, incidentally, the earliest recordings of the surname occur, and in Kent, names ending in "-den" are generally names of old pastures. It has also been suggested, however, that Blunden may have originated as a nickname for someone with grizzled hair, from the Olde English "blonden-, blandan-feax" (a compound of "blandan", to mix, blend, and "feax", hair), the initial element being akin to the Old French "blund, blond", fair, light (in colour). On February 9th 1567, John Blunden was christened at Harting, Sussex, and on November 29th 1567, Jone Blunden married William Smart at Petworth, Sussex. Blunden is the name borne by a landed family of note in the Irish county of Kilkenny since the mid 17th Century, and on December 21st 1814, the birth of John, son of William Pitt Blunden and Harriet Pope, was recorded at Castle Blunden, County Kilkenny. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joan Blonden, which was dated September 5th 1558, marriage to Thomas Chowne, at Tonbridge, Kent, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Bloody Mary", 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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