This uncommon name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible interpretations; both from the same derivation, which is the Olde English pre 7th Century "north", north, with "denu", valley. Firstly, the surname may be topographical in origin, for someone who lived "in the north valley", or at the northern end of a valley settlement. 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. Secondly, the name may be locational, from some minor, unrecorded place, or from Norden in Lancashire; locational surnames were used as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The modern surname forms are Nurden, Nurdin, Norden, Nordin(g) and Nordern. Examples from Church Registers include: the marriage of Amie Nurden and Thomas Apperly, on July 11th 1610, at Awre with Blakeney, Gloucestershire; the marriage of Anthony Nurden and Mary Downe in Doddenham, Worcestershire, on November 26th 1617; and the christening of their son, Richard, also in Doddenham, on July 4th 1626. Interestingly, in this last recording, the surname is listed as "Norden". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jhon Norden, which was dated August 29th 1539, christened at Willesborough, Kent, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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