This interesting name is of Medieval English origin and is locational from two places, one, Little Gransden in Cambridgeshire, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Gratedene', and later in the Pipe Rolls of 1194 as 'Granteden', and the other Great Gransden in Huntingdonshire, first recorded in the Domesday Book as 'Grantesdene'. The derivation of these places is from an Old English pre 7th Century personal name 'Granta' or 'Grenta' and 'denu', a valley. These names belong to the Danish 'a grante', to complain, the Old Norse 'grettast', to grin.During the Middle Ages, on leaving their village, to seek work elsewhere, people would often adopt the placename as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. Amongst the sample recordings of the name is the marriage of George Gransden and Bettris Patche on April 23rd 1588 at Impington, Cambridgeshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Gransden (christening), which was dated July 26th 1564, Impington, Cambridgeshire, 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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