Recorded in a number of spellings including Gosden, Gosdin and Gosdon, this is an English surname. It is locational and probably originates from the village of Gosden Common in the county of Surrey, jusging by the number of recordings found in the surviving registers of the diocese of Greater London. The village name is believed to mean "Goose valley" from the pre 7th century Olde English "gos-denu". In the 17th century in England, changing agricultural practises and the onset of the Industrial Revolution conspired to change the requirements of agricultural from mainly arable to mainly pastoral, and particularly the need for wool for the textile industry. Large sheep flocks required many fewer land workers, and as a result the land owners often forced tenants off the common lands. These dispossessed people had little choice, but to go to the cities of which London was the favoured choice. In so doing they took, or were given, as their surname, the name of their original village. In this case early examples of the surname recordings in the church registers include Charles Gosdon at St Johns Hackney, on August 31st 1661, Nicholas Gosden, who was recorded at St Nicholas church, Cole Abbey, on November 5th 1695, and the same Nicholas, although now spelt as Gosdin, recorded at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on August 30th 1703.
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