This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name from residence by a prominent alder tree, or alder grove. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century "alor", alder, which became "al(d)re" in Middle English. Early examples of the surname include: Ralph de Alre (Berkshire, 1221), and Richard atte Alre (Somerset, 1327). Topographical surnames, such as this, were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided obvious and convenient means of identification in the small communities of the Middle Ages. In the modern idiom the surname is found as: Alder, Alders, Allder, Older, Nolda, Nalder and Nolder, the latter three forms resulting from the misdivision of the Middle English "atten alder". The "n" in the prefix "atte", at the, was added for euphony before a vowel, and this "n" was fused with "al(d)er" to give such early entries as: Alica Attenalre (London Pleas Records, circa 1300), and William atte Naldres (Essex, 1313). The form Nalder is particularly well recorded in Berkshire Church Registers from the late 16th Century. On January 29th 1571, Richard Nalder and Ellen Field were married in Kintbury, Berkshire. A Coat of Arms granted to the Nalder family of Reading, Berkshire, in 1787, is a silver shield, on a saltire engrailed azure between four griffins' heads erased per pale red and green, as many gold lozenges, the Crest being a griffin's head erased. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William atte Nalre, which was dated 1277, witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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