This interesting surname is of English locational origin from a locality in the West Ashford rural district of Kent. The first element of the placename is either the old English pre 7th Century "wand" meaning mole or the personal name "Wenna" (also found as a first element in Wanborough, Surrey). "Den" is common as the second element of placenames in the Kent district and generally refers to the names of old pastures; hence "Wenna's old pasture" or "old pasture frequented by moles". During the Middle Ages when migration for the purpose of job seeking was becoming more common, people often took their former village name as a means of identification, thus resulting in a wide dispersal of the name. The surname is first recorded in the mid 16th Century (see below). In the modern idiom, the surname is also found with variant spellings Wendon, Wenden, Windon, etc.. On October 21st 1571, Margaret Whendon and Alexander Ridgway were married at Maidstone, Kent and James Wanden married Mary Smith at Horton Kirby, Kent, on October 11th 1733. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts a black cross flurtee engrailed on a silver field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Wanden, (marriage to Joys Whyte), which was dated March 14th 1549, at All Saints, Maidstone, Kent, during the reign of King Edward V1, "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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