Recorded in several forms including Snowden, Snowdon, Snodin, Snoding, Snoden and Snowding, this is a surname of English origins. It is locational from any of the places called Snowden in West Yorkshire and Hertfordshire, or Snowdon in Devonshire, but not Snowden mountain in Wales. All derive from the Old English pre 7th century word 'snaw', meaning snow, and 'dun', meaning hill, the general meaning of the place name is 'The hill where snow lies long'. The places called Snow Hill in Berkshire, and Snow End in Hertfordshire were also formerly called 'Snowden', and they may have given rise to surnames. Early examples of the recordings include Matthew de Snoudon of Somerset in 1278, Elizabeth Snoden of Kent in 1551, Sara Snoddin also of Kent in 1655, Ellen Snodin in the registers of the city of London in 1677, Elizabeth Snowdin and Ann Snowding also of London in 1695. The marriage of Thomas Snowden and Helen Abbey was recorded at the church of St. Martin and St. Gregory, in the city of York, on November 25th 1593. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry de Snewedon. This was was dated 1277, in the Fines Court Rolls of Essex, during the reign of King Edward 1st known as 'The Hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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