This interesting and unusual name is of English origin and is locational from a so called 'lost' village, which it is thought may have once been in Kent. The derivation of this name is from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'ric' a stream (or narrow strip) with 'denu' a valley. The theory of this 'lost' village once having been in Kent is suggested by the fact that the name is well recorded there, with many entries from the 16th Century. For example two early christenings of name bearers in Kent are as follows: Amos Rigden the infant son William Rigden on the 6th October 1563 at Margate and Samuel Rigden son of Edward Rigden of the 13th December 1565 at Chilham. Also one William Rigden married Elisabeth Umphrie on 24th May 1574 at Margate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Rikedoun, which was dated 1317, Assize Rolls, Kent, during the reign of King Edward II of Caernafon, 1307 - 1327. 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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