This interesting surname is a variant of Putney, which is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from a place so called in Surrey. The placename is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century "Puttan", from the byname "putta" meaning kite and "hyp", landing-place, thus, "Putta's landing-place". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The place was first recorded as "putelei" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Potenhipe" in the Beves of Hamtoune in circa 1327. The modern surname can be found as Putney, Pudney, Patney and Powtney. Among the sample recordings in London are the christenings of Edmund, son of Daniel and Jane Pudney, on July 30th 1727 at St. Mary's, Whitechapel, Stepney, and of William, son of George and Elizabeth Pudney, on June 15th 1777 at St. Mary's, Marylebone, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Putney (christening), which was dated January 6th 1559, St. Gregory by St. Paul, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, "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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