Recorded in several spelling including Hardan, Harden, Hardin and Hardene, this is an English locational surname. The famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley gives it as originating either from the village of Harden near the town of Bingley in West Yorkshire or from other small spots such as Harden in Staffordshire, or Harden near Hawick, in South Scotland. Any or all of these places could have provided nameholders although interestingly the first recording is that of Richardus de Hardene in the Hundred Rolls of the landowners of Wiltshire in 1273. Wiltshire is a county which does not seem to have any association with a Harden place. Other early recordings from similar rolls include Henry de Hardene of Northumberland also in 1273. He may have had Scottish ancestry, whilst Willelmus de Hardeyn of Yorkshire appears in the Poll Tax rolls of 1379 and presumably was from the Yorkshire Harden. According to the Oxford Dictioary of English Place Names this place is first recorded as Haredene in the Pipe Rolls of the county in 1166, and translates as Hare Valley.
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