This unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is one of the variant forms of the locational surname found as 'Snowden', 'Snowdon', 'Snodin', 'Snoding', 'Snoden' and 'Snowding'. The surname derives from any one of the places called 'Snowden', in West Yorkshire and Hertfordshire or 'Snowdon' in Devonshire, all of which derive their names from the Old English pre 7th Century word 'snaw', snow, the 'dun', hill, the general meaning of the placename therefore being 'the hill where snow lies long'. The places called 'Snow Hill' (in Berkshire) and 'Snow End' (in Hertfordshire) were formerly called 'Snowden'. The surname development has included Matthew de Snoudon (1278, Somerset), Elizabeth Snoden (1551, Kent), Sara Snoddin (1655, ibid), Ellen Snodin (1677, London), Elizabeth Snowdin (1693, ibid), and Ann Snowding (1695, ibid). One 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, 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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