This name is of English locational origin from a place in Essex thus called. Recorded variously as Wokendune in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of 1067, as Wochaduna in the Domesday Book of 1086 and as Wokindon in the 1230 Pipe Rolls of that county, the first element is the genetive case of the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Wocca", plus "dun", a down or hill pasture, hence, "Woca's Pastures". The surname from this source is particularly well recorded in Church registers of Essex and London from the mid 16th Century, (see below) under variant spellings Okenden, Okendon, Ockenden and Ockendon. In April 1557, Brydget Okendon, an infant was christened in East Manningfield, Essex, and on April 8th 1591 Alyce, daughter of Robert Ockendon was christened in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Margery Okenden married William Hauken, which was dated June 25th 1542 in East Hanningfield, Essex, during the reign of King Henry VIII, 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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