This interesting surname has two distinct possible origins. Firstly, it may be of Anglo-Saxon origin and locational from a place in Northamptonshire called Bradden. Recorded variously as Bradene in the Domesday Book of 1086, as Bradenden in 1186 Pipe Rolls of that county, and as Bradden in the 1220 Fine Court Rolls, the place was so called from the old English pre 7th Century "brad" meaning "broad", plus "den", a valley; hence, "broad valley". The surname from this source first appears on record in the latter part of the 13th Century (see below). In 1298 one, William de Bradden was noted in the "Hundred Rolls of Northamptonshire", and on June 30th 1582 Elizabeth Braden and Roger Willye were married at St. Olave, Hart Street, London. Braden may also be an Anglicized form of the old Gaelic O' Bradain. The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal byname Braden meaning "Salmon". On April 10th 1780 John, son of John Braden and Margaret Hearst was born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Bradene, which was dated 1273, in the "The Hundred Rolls of Southamptonshire", during the reign of King Edward 1st, 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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