This unusual and interesting name has two possible origins, the first of which is of Olde Norse or Olde Swedish origin, and derives from a byname, or nickname, 'Moden' or 'Modin', for a courageous or foolhardy person. The Olde Norse word was 'modigh', cognate with the Olde English pre 7th Century 'modig' meaning brave, proud, and arrogant, a derivate or 'mod', spirit, mind, or courage. The equivalent English surname is 'Moody', from the southern Middle English 'modis'. In the northern counties the Olde Scandinavian form was retained. The second possible origin is from a medieval topographic name 'Meaden', meaning 'dweller at or by the end of the meadow'. Philip Moden was christened at St. James Clerkenwell, London, in November, 1676. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Modyn, which was dated 13th July 1550, christened at St. Margaret's, Westminster, during the reign of King Edward VI, The Boy King, 1547 - 1553. 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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