This most interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and has two possible sources. Firstly, the surname may be from an assimilated form of Jordan, which is a baptismal name taken from the name of the river Jordan (which derives from the Hebrew "Yarden", from "yarad", to go down, descend (to the Dead Sea). At the time of the Crusades it was common practice for crusaders and pilgrims to bring back flask of water from the river, in which John the Baptist, had baptized people, including Christ Himself, and to use it in the christening of their own children. Thus Jordan became quite a popular given name in commemoration of this. Secondly, the surname may be from the male given name Jude, with the diminutive suffix "en"; hence, "little Jude". Jude is an abbreviated form of the Hebrew "Judah", the name of a son of Jacob. The name was occasionally used in medieval England, either from the name of the Apostle Jude, sometimes called Judas, or through the popularity of the story of Judas Maccabaeus. Nicholas Jurdan, Walter Judden and William Judden are listed in the 1332 Subsidy Rolls of Warwickshire. In the modern idiom the surname can be found as Judi, Jaudin, Juddin, Judden and Juden. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include: the christening of John, son of John Juden, on October 11th 1584, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, and the marriage of John Juden and Elizabeth Garland at St. Olave's, Southwark, on June 3rd 1795. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam Judden, which was dated 1327, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 11, known as "Edward the Confessor", 1307 - 1327. 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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