This interesting name is locational from a so called 'lost' village in Cowden (Kent) now represented by Pole fields, first recorded in the Charter of 1044 as Wingindene, and in one of 1081 as Wigendene, and is last mentioned as Wykenden in church records of 1542 but in those of 1663 as Polefields, long occupied by the Wickenden family 'Ould Mother Wickenden of Powlfields' was buried in 1626. The surname is still found in Tonbridge, on the Kent\Sussex border and in Essex. The derivation is from 'Wicen' an Olde English pre 7th Century word for a dairy farm and 'denu', a valley. One Dennis Wickenden was christened at Cowden, Kent on 10th March 1593. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Martin de Wiggindenn, which was dated circa 1200 Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King John, 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. 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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