Recorded in the spellings of Sheddan and Shedden this is a Scottish locational surname. It originates from the "lands of Shedden", a farm or hamlet in the county of Renfrewshire, near to the village of Clarkston, on the outskirts of Glasgow. Perhaps not surprisingly the surname is relatively well recorded in the adjoining county of Ayrshire, since by their very nature locational surnames imply that the nameholder has moved from "home" to somewhere else. In earlier times it was found that the simplest and easiest way to identify a "stranger" was to call him or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. The meaning of "Sheddens" is unclear, but a possibility is that it derives from the Olde English pre 7th century "snaed" meaning a pasture and "denu" a valley or dale. Early examples of the surname recording taken from the surviving authentic rolls and charters of the region include Robert Shedden, who in 1686 was recorded in Paisley, and in 1744 Charles Sheddan was recorded as performing "good works foir the burgh of Irvine". Just what these good works were is unclear, since the activities of most "burgh councils" was usually limited to trying to keep the streets reasonable clean. The king at the time of the first recording was James 11nd of England and V11 of Scotland. He was the last Catholic monarch, and his reign came to an end in 1689 after only four years when he fled to France.
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