This interesting and unusual name is of English locational origin from a hamlet north east of Ledbury in Herefordshire called Evenedine. The component elements of the placename are the Old English pre 7th Century "efn", meaning "smooth pasture". Such locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their place of work to settle elsewhere. On August 17th 1554, Robart Evindone, an infant, was christened in St. Mary's, Reading, Berkshire, and on June 17th 1571, Johan Evenden married a William Woodcocke in the same place. In his "Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames", C.W. Bardsley states that Evenden is a Kentish surname, and gives Gunnora de Ethinden - the 1273, Hundred Rolls of Kent - as the earliest recorded namebearer. There is a minor place north west of sevenoaks called Ovenden from which the surname might conceivably have arisen, but no evidence of a place called Ethinden. On July 7th 1559, Christopher Ovenden was christened in St. Alphege, married an Agnes Graye in Headcorn, Kent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Evindonne, (christening), which was dated July 27th 1540, St. Mary's, Reading, Berkshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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