This interesting name is of Old French origin, introduced into England and Scotland by the Normans, after the Conquest of 1066. It may be either a topographical or an occupational surname, derived in both cases from the central Old French "jardin", garden. As a topographical name, Jardin(e) denoted residence by or near a garden, and as an occupational name, a worker at a garden. During the Middle Ages the gardener implied by this term was likely to be a cultivator of edible produce in an orchard or kitchen garden, rather than one who tended ornamental lawns and flower beds. The surname is first recorded in Scotland, as below, and appears in England in 1296, when Matilda atte Jardin is listed in the Sussex Subsidy Rolls. The modern forms are Jardin, Jardine, Jerde(i)n, Jerdan and Jerdon. An interesting namebearer was James Jardine (1776 - 1858), an engineer, who constructed the Union Canal and was the first to determine the mean level of the sea. A Coat of Arms granted to a Jardine family of Edinburgh depicts, on a white shield, on a red saltire five bezants, on a chief, red, three gold mullets. The Crest is a hand holding a bezant all proper, and the Motto, "Ex virtute honos", translates "Honour from virtue". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Winfredus de Jardine, which was dated circa 1150, charter witness in records of the Abbeys of Kelso and Arbroath, during the reign of David 1, King of Scotland, 1124 - 1153. 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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