This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name from residence by a stand of alder trees, deriving from the Middle English phrase "atten aldre", ultimately from the Olde English pre 7th Century "aet thaem alre", at the alder. The Middle English preposition "atten" was later misdivided giving "atte nalder", and the eventual dropping of "atte" leaves the form "Nalder". Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. Early examples of Nalder include: William atte Naldhres (Essex, 1313); John atte Alre (Somerset, 1327); and Richard atten Alre (Somerset, 1332). In the modern idiom the name is spelt: Alder, Alders, Allder, Older, Nalder, Nolder and Nolda, the latter three forms showing remnants of the medieval preposition. On February 5th 1559, Elnor Nalder and Thomas Smith were married at Kintbury, Berkshire, and on February 13th 1664, John, son of FRancis and Ann Nolder, was christened at St. Giles' Cripplegate, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family in 1787 is a silver shield with four gold lozenges on a saltire engrailed azure between four griffins' heads erased per pale red and green, 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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