This name, with variant spellings Gurden and Gourdon, is of locational origin, either from the place of that name in Berwickshire, Scotland, or from Gourdon in Saone-et-Loire, France. The former was so called from the Old Gaelic "gor", meaning large or spacious, plus "dun", a fort and the surname was first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below). Adam de Gurdun, recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire dated 1204, is believed to have come from the French town, so called from the Gallo-Roman personal name Gordus, plus the locational suffix "-on(is)". One Geoffrey Gurdun appears in the Curia Rolls of Kent, dated 1220 and an Adam Gordon in the 1279 Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire. Sir Adam de Gordon (deceased 1333) was Justiciar of Scotland 1310 - 1314. He obtained the Lordship of Strathbogie, which he named Huntly circa 1315. Branches of his family have since held the titles of Lord of Strathbogie, Duke of Gordon and Earl and Marquess of Huntly. Probably the most renowned of the many famous Gordons, was General Charles Gordon (1833 - 1885) known as "Gordon of Khartoum". He was wounded in the Crimea (1854 - 1855), Commander of the Chinese Armies (1863) and suppressor of the Slave trade in the Sudan (1877) He was killed in Khartoum after withstanding a siege of 317 days. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richer de Gordun which was dated 1154, in the "Records of St. Michael's Church, Kelso, Scotland", during the reign of King David 1st of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. 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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