This interesting and unusual name of medieval English origin is a dialectal variant of Gold, itself a metonymic occupational name for someone who worked in gold. The derivation is from the Old English pre 7th Century "gyldan" and the Old High German "gold", a refiner, jeweller, or gilder. The name development includes John le Gilder (1306, The Calender of Letter Books), and the modern spellings are Gilders, Gelder, Guilder. The name is recorded in Barbados as early as the 17th Century when one Henrie Gilder, aged 18 years, sailed aboard the "Faulcon", from the Port of London on April 14th 1635. Amongst the recorded examples of namebearers in London is Nicholes Gilder born on October 4th 1589, at St. Ann, Blackfriars. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stephen le Gelder, which was dated 1281, in the "Calender of Letter Books ... of London", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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