This unusual and interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a locational name from a so called 'lost' village, of which, it is estimated, that there are between seven and ten thousand that have disappeared from British maps. It is likely that Cogdon or Cogden as it is also recorded, was once situated in Durham, suggested by the numerous recordings in that county. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century 'cocc', cockbird and 'denu', a valley, thus, 'a valley frequented by wild birds'. The phenomenon of the 'lost' village was often as a result of enforced land clearance in the 11th and 12th Centuries at the height of the wool industry to make way for sheep pasture, as well as more 'natural' reasons, such as plague and war. One John Cogdon was christened on October 9th 1594 at St. Nicholas', Durham. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Cogdon, which was dated June 22nd 1589, Lanchester, Durham, 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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