This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from Pigdon in Northumberland. The placename is recorded as "Pikedenn" in the 1205 Curia Regis Rolls, and as "Pikeden" in the 1226 Pipe Rolls of the county; the name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Pica", with "denn", a pasture; hence "Pica's pasture. The Olde English "pic", peak, might also be thought of as a first element, but it would then be "pasture by the peaks", and that does not suit the situation.During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname has many variant spellings, ranging from Pagden, Pagnin and Pigdeon to Pegden and Pagdin. Recordings of the surname from English Church Registers include: the christening of Walter, son of John Pigden, on February 27th 1641 at St. Olave's, Southwark, London; the marriage of John Pigden and Jane Collyer on October 5th 1654 at All Saints, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Northumberland; and the christening of Phebea, daughter of Richard and Elinor Pigdon, on November 17th 1689 at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Pegdon, which was dated July 9th 1561, marriage to Jane Harwoode, at St. Giles Cripplegate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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