Recorded in various spelling forms including Elsdon, Elsden, Helsdon, Hellsdon, Helsdown, Hillsdon, and Hilsdown, this is an English surname of early medieval origins. It is locational and probably originates from the ancient village of Elsdon, in Cumbria. Recorded in the medieval Pipe Rolls of the region in 1236 as Hellesden, and later as Helvesdon in 1325, the spellings as Elsdon being 16th century, this village is believed to be the source for many of the later surname spellings. The translation from the pre 7th century Old English is probably the village in the valley (denu) surrounded by hills", although it is also possibly that the prefix referred to a personal name. The early surname development includes Robert de Robert de Hillisone in the Hundred Rolls of the city of London in the year 1274, Elizabeth Elsdon, at the church known as St Mary Whitechapel, on November 14th 1591, Anne Helsdon, who married David Arnold at St. Margarets church, Westminster on December 14th 1628, and John Hellsdon christened at St. Dunstans in the East, Stepney on April 10th 1698. The first recorded spelling of the family name is possibly that of Reginald de Hildesdone of the county of Norfolk in 1273, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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