Recorded in several forms including Snowden, Snowdon, Snodin, Snoding, Snoden, Snoddon, Snowding and the diminutives Snoday, Snoddey, and Snoddy, this is an English surname. It is locational and originates from any or all of the places called Snowden in West Yorkshire and Hertfordshire, or Snowdon in Devonshire. These all derive their names from the pre 7th century word 'snaw', meaning snow, and 'dun', a hill. The specific meaning is the place where snow lies long, a wintery and high spot. The places called Snow Hill in Berkshire and Snow End in Hertfordshire were themselves formerly called Snowden in medieval times. The surname development has included Matthew de Snoudon of Somerset in 1278, Elizabeth Snoden of Kent in 1551, Joane Snoday, at St James Clerkenwell in the city of London on July 25th 1611, and Elizabeth Snowdin at St Margarets Westminster on May 4th 1693. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Snewedon, which was dated 1277, in the Essex Fines Court Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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