First recorded in the 16th Century as Howsden. This name is locational although it's place of origin is neither obvious nor proven. The first spelling suggest's a developed form of the Norse Viking 8th Century "hofuth" meaning "head of the valley" plus the Old English "denv" - also meaning valley - as in the village name "Howden" (originally Heafuddene) in Yorkshire. However the name could also be a developed form of "Hoh" or "hos" - The Old English for a hill plus "denu", but if so, no such place has been positively identified. The intrusive "S" is probably as a result of dialectal changes. The recorded spellings include John Howesden who married Alice Thin in November 27th 1693, in London, and Joseph Housdon christened at St. Giles Cripplegate on January 5th 1706. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Kather Howsden, which was dated October 1st 1598, married Francis Cole at St. Botolphs Church, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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