This name with variant spellings Hilden, Ilden etc. is of English locational origin from one of the estimated seven to ten thousand villages and hamlets that have now disappeared from maps in Britain. The prime cause of the "disappearances" was the enforced "clearing" and dispersal of the former inhabitants to make way for sheep pastures at the height of the wool trade in the 14th Century. Natural causes such as the Black Death of 1348, also contributed to the lost village phenomenon. The placename may have been composed of the Old English elements "hylde", slope or "hyll", hill, plus the Anglo-Saxon word "den", meaning wooded hollow or valley, hence implying residence by a wooded hollow on a hill or slope. The name may also derive from the Old English personal name "Hilda", from the Germanic element "hild", battle, plus "deu", as above. Sara, daughter of John Hilding was christened at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London on January 29th 1614. Richard Yllden married Mary Walters at Staplehurst, Kent on July 17th 1638. Andrew, son of Andrew Hildon at Brighton in Surrey on January 14th 1683. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Ilden, married Tomesin Baker, which was dated November 19th 1582, at Benenden, Kent, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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