This name is of English locational origin either from Seldon in Hatherleigh, Devonshire, or from Selden Farm in the parish of Patching, Sussex. Both places are so called from the Old English pre 7th Century 'sealh', willow, plus 'denu', a valley; hence, 'the valley of the willows'. The surname was first recorded at the end of the 12th Century, (see below). Locational names were usually given to the Lord of the Manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of birth to seek work elsewhere. One, Ansell de Seledon appears in the Warwickshire County Rolls, dated 1272, and a William de Selkedon in the 1296 'Subsidy Rolls of Sussex'. On April 3rd 1542 Elizabeth Seldon, an infant was christened in Exeter, Devon, and on August 10th 1561 one, Ales Seldon was christened in Hatherleigh John Selden, the famous lawyer and jurist, (1584 - 1654), is associated with West Tarring, Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Roger de Seldon, which was dated 1199, 'The Pipe Rolls of Warwickshire', during the reign of King Richard 1, 'Richard the Lionheart', 1189 - 1199. 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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