This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Dunnerdale, a township in the parish of Kirkby Ireleth, Furness, Lancashire, embracing the valley of the river Duddon as far as Seathwaite. Recorded as "Dunerdale" in the Lancashire Inquests, dated 1293, the place means "the valley of the River Duddon", the latter element coming from the Olde English pre 7th Century "dael", valley. The river-name, appearing variously as "Dudun", circa 1140 in Lancashire Charters, and as "Dudena", circa 1160, remains unexplained.Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The surname is well recorded in English Church Registers from the mid 16th Century under the variant spellings, Dannderdale, Dunderdall, Dunderdal and Dunderdale. On December 8th 1593, Jacobus Dunderdale, an infant, was christened in Warton near Lancaster, and on August 25th 1638, Sarah, daughter of Thomas Dunderdale, was christened at St. Peter's, Leeds, Yorkshire. In 1677, one Robert Dunderdale, of Hathornthwaite, was noted in Lancashire Wills Records held at Richmond. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Dunderdall, which was dated March 15th 1568, a christening witness, at Garstang, Lancashire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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