Recorded in the British Isles as Bassingden, Bassenden, Bissenden, Brisden, Brisenden, Brissenden, Brizendon, Briselden, and probably others, this is an English locational surname. It originates either from the hamlet of Brissendean Green in the county of Kent, or possibly in some cases from a now 'lost' medieval village. The spelling indicates a development from the Olde English pre 7th century 'byrust atten dene' meaning the gap or road through the valley. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say surnames given to people after they had left their original homes, and moved somewhere else. It became the tradition to identify such strangers by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent, and local accents very thick, soon lead to the development of 'sounds like' spellings. In this case early examples of the recordings in surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London and that of the county of Kent include George Bassenden at St Alphage's church on August 27th 1574, Margaret Brissendean who was christened at Chilham in Kent, on October 11th 1640, and Jane Brisenden, who married John Becket at East Malling in Kent, on January 3rd 1713.
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