This interesting name is of English locational origin from a place thus called in Northumberland. Recorded variously as Eledene in the 1226, Episcopal Register of that county, as Hellesden in the 1236, Close Rolls, and as Ellesden in a 1245, Inquisition, the first element is believed to be the old English pre 7th Century personal name Elli, plus the old English "denu", a dene or valley; hence, "Elli's Valley". The surname with variant spellings Ellesdon, Elsden etc., is particularly well recorded in English church registers from the late 16th Century. On November 14th 1591, Elizabeth Elsdon, an infant, was christened in St. Mary, Whitechapel, Stepney, London. Robertus, son of Gulielmi Elsden, was christened in Ponteland, Northumberland, on August 21st 1608 and on August 27th 1626, the christening of Elizabeth Elsdon took place in Gateshead, Durham. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Joanes Ellesdon, (marriage to Anna Mumes), which was dated January 21st 1590, St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Westminster, London, 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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