This name is of English locational origin from one of estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from maps in Britain. The prime cause of these "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the lost village phenomena. The placename is made up of the elements "Fog", from the middle English "fogge", which was a grass left to grow after the hay had been cut, long grass in a water meadow, and "den", from the Old English "denn", a "pasture, especially a swine-pasture", common as a second element of place-names in Kent and Sussex. John Fogden married Margarie Myles at Oving in Sussex on October 8th 1598. A son was born to John Fogden on June 7th 1601, also at Oving. The first appearance of the surname in Kent is for April 12th 1629, at East Malling, when a Mary, daughter of Thomas Fogden, was christened. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jane Foggden married William Keye, which was dated April 15th 1588, at Fittleworth, Sussex, 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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