This long-established name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from Great and Little Oxenden near Harborough in Northamptonshire. The settlement was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Oxendone", and as "Osendon" in the 1176 Pipe Rolls of the county; by the early 13th Century there were two separate places so called, recorded as "Maior" and "Minor" Oxendon in the Northamptonshire Book of Fees for 1220. The placename means "the down or hill where oxen were kept", derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century elements "oxan" (the genitive plural of "oxa", ox), and "dun", hill, down, mountain. Locational surnames were used particularly as a means of identification by those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Early examples of the surname include: Stephen de Oxindon (Buckinghamshire, 1275), and Ivo de Oxinden (Northamptonshire, 1316). One Henry Oxenden is listed in the Register of the University of Oxford for 1572. Among the recordings of the name in London Church Registers is that of the marriage of Richard Oxenden and Susanna Ravens at St. James', Duke's Place, on March 16th 1688. The family Coat of Arms depicts a red chevron between three black oxen on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John de Oxendon, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Northamptonshire", 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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