Recorded in some eighty spellings including Gold, Golds, Goldman, which can be English, German or Jewish Ashkenasic, or Golda, Golde, Goldes, Goldis and Goldin, which are almost always Jewish-Ashkenasic, this is a surname of truly ancient origins of which it has several. The use of the word gold or golde seems to have been generic and to have described the precious metal world-wide from the begining of written history some ten thousand years ago. This in itself is an interesting reflection both on its recognized scarcity, and its perceived value. However the first origin for the surname may have been from the Hebrew spelling as 'golde.' This was first given as a female personal name, as was second possible origin of the Anglo-Saxon and Germanic female name 'Golda.' Both mean gold or golden hair. A third possible origin is occupational for a goldsmith, whilst the fourth possible origin was a medieval nickname for a "precious" person. In the ancient rolls of England, which was the first country in the word to adopt what we now recorgnize as surnames we have Hugo fillius Golda in the famous Domesday Book of the the county of Suffolk in 1086, and Ralph filius Golde in the Pipe Rolls of Bedfordshire in 1193. The coat of arms most associated with the surname has the blazon of a shield divided per saltire gold and blue, charged with a lion rampant counterchanged, the crest being a blue demi lion rampant bezantee. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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