This is an English surname. Recorded as Howsden, Housden, and Housdon, it is clearly locational, but no such place in any of the known surname spellings has been found. This suggests that it is either a 'lost' medieval village surname, or it is a transposed spelling from a place name such as Howden in the county of Yorkshire. The spelling of the 'modern' surname suggests that it may be a developed form of the pre 8th century Norse-Viking word "hofuth" meaning the head of the valley, with the Old English word "denu", which also means valley.This is also the explanation for Howden which was originally spelt as Heafuddene, in the 13th century. The intrusive "s" in the surname where it occurs, is probably as a result of dialectal changes, as the nameholders moved to different places, over the centuries. Early examples of the spellings taken from surving church registers include John Howesden who married Alice Thin on November 27th 1693, at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, and Joseph Housdon christened at St. Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London, on January 5th 1706. The first recorded spelling of the family name in the London records is that of Katherine Howsden. This was dated October 1st 1598, when she married Francis Cole at St. Botolphs Bishopgate, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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