Recorded in many spelling forms as shown below, this is an English surname of pre 7th century origins. It is one of the variants of the locational surname Snowden or Snowdon. These include Snodin, Snoding, Snoden, Snodden, Snoddin, Snoddon and Snowding. The origination is from any of the places called Snowden in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the counties of Hertfordshire and Devonshire. They derive from the Old English word snaw meaning snow, and dun, a hill. The literal meaning of the placename is believed to be 'The hill where snow lies a long time'. The places called 'Snow Hill' in Berkshire and 'Snow End' in Hertfordshire were also formerly called Snowden, and may also have contributed to the numbers of this name. The surname development has included Matthew de Snoudon (1278, in Somerset), Elizabeth Snoden (1551, in Kent), Sara Snoddin (1655, also Kent), Ellen Snodin (1653), Elizabeth Snowdin (1693), and Ann Snowding (1695), all in the city of London, whilst Luke Snoding was christened on the 23rd November 1669 at Thorpe Salvin, Yorkshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Snewedon. This was dated 1277, in the Fines Court Rolls for Essex, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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