This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and derives from the habitual use of a nickname that was originally bestowed on someone who had bright yellow hair, with reference to the colour of the metal. The nickname derives from the Old English pre 7th Century term "gylden", golden-(haired). A large proportion of early medieval surnames were created from nicknames, given in the first instance for a variety of reasons, referring to physical attributes of peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal's or bird's appearance or disposition, or habits of dress, and sometimes, occupation. The development of the surname from gylden" includes Hilde Golden (1279, Cambridgeshire), Henry le Gulden (1316, London), and Roger le Gildene (1327, Somerset). The modern surname can be found as Golden, Goolden, and Goulden. The marriage of Thomas Golden and Mary Fouler was recorded at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London, on November 6th 1669. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter le Gelden, which was dated 1212, The Hampshire Curia Rolls, during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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