Recorded in the spellings of Hadwen, Hadwin, and Hardwin, this is a surname of Olde French origins. That is to It seems to have been introduced by the Norman invaders of 1066, however recent research suggests that like many such names commencing with 'hard', it of Germanic origins and may have been Anglo-Saxon. It consists of two elements 'hard' which means 'hard' and 'win'- a friend. These names, which were originally baptismal or given names, were usually associated with victory, religion, and personal qualities, and in most cases it is difficult to believe that they were meant to be translated literally. 'Hardwin' like 'Godwin' is amongst the most acceptable by 20th century standards, 'Bloodaxe', which was probably considered a great honour when bestowed, seems to be extinct! The first recording of this name was baptismal, Hardwin filius Brichrith, being so recorded in Suffolk in 1272, as was Godwin filius Hardwini in the Norfolk rolls of the same year. Later recordings include Alis Hadwen who married Edward Harvy, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on October 2nd 1575, and Dorothy Hadwin, daughter of Thomas and Frances Hadwin, being christened at St Bartholomew the Great, London, on May 17th 1640. The coat of arms was granted in Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire. It has the blazon of per pale blue and black, a stags head caboshed in silver, on a gold chief two dogs heads respecting each other proper. The crest is a pheasant on a grass covered rock and the motto, a play on the name - 'Had on and win'. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Philip Hardwyn, which was dated 1273, the Hundred Rolls of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1st, 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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