Recorded in several spellings including Voaden, Voden and Vodden, this is an English surname but probably of Scandanavian-Viking pre 7th century origins. It is believed to derive from the god 'Woden', as in the weekday name of Wednesday or more properly 'Wodens-day', and also found in such place names as Wodensdyke, near Whitchurch in Hampshire, or the villages of Wodencroft in North Yorkshire or Woden Law in Roxburgh, Scotland. The 'modern' surname may well be a short form of the place names but this is not proven, and it is even possible that the name originates from a now lost medieval village, of which the only public memorry in the 20th century is the surname itself. The first recording in the London church registers, one of the most accurate listings of English surnames, is believed to be that of Jane Vodinge, who married Tristram Shepherd on September 28th 1600. The accuracy of the surname spelling as 'Vodinge' is open to suspicion, but curiously however spelt, this surname has had an epicentre at the famous church of St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, for nearly three centuries. By the mid 17th century the spelling is as Voden, an example being Judith Voden, who married Daniell Peeters (!) at St Dunstans on April 15th 1661, and this spelling form continues unbroken until March 12th 1820, when John Vodden, is recorded as being a witness at the christening of his son John, also at St Dunstans.
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