This very interesting name is of English locational origin from either "Smeardon Down" in the parish of Petertavy, Devon or "Smarden", a parish in Kent, nine miles from Cranbrook. Both of these placenames are composed of the initial element "smeoru", the Olde English pre-7th Century word for "butter", while the former has the second element "dunn", hill, and the latter, recorded "Smeredaenne" in the Domesday Book of 1086, has the second element "denn", pasture. The name first appears in records in the mid 16th Century (see below). The Devonshire Church Registers record the marriage of one Joanna Smardon to Johes Barnes at Ugborough, on October 23rd 1564, while Wilmot, Richard, Edward and Arthur, sons of Richard Smerdon were christened at Widecomb in the Moor on May 1st 1570, February 14th 1573, August 15th 1575 and October 14th 1578, respectively. Sisley Smerdon married Christopher Hodge on July 22nd 1577, also at Widecomb in the Moor. The christening of Jane, daughter of John and Elizabeth Smardon which occurred on August 15th 1677, at St. Mary Whitechapel, is the earliest recording of the surname in London Church Registers. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Beaton Smerdon (marriage to Phillip Peterffild) which was dated May 4th 1561, at "Ilsington, Devon", during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, 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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