Recorded in an extraordinary number of spellings including Yelden, Yeldon, Yaldon, Yelding, Yielding, and others, this is an English surname. It is locational from the village of Yelden in Bedfordshire. This village itself is variously recorded over the centuries as Yelden, Yelding, and Yielding, changes which no doubt made a major contribution to the development of the different surname forms. The village name translates from the Old English and Anglo-Saxon 'as the people ( -ing) of the wald (a forest)', a similar meaning applying to the short version of the surname 'Yeld or Yald'. To add to the confusion the Post Office of the village is believed to be spelt 'Yielden', although for reasons unclear, other than that nobody knows the correct spelling! The village was probably 'cleared' in the 17th century to facilitate the development of sheep farming. This was the fate of many villages in the area, the inhabitants being forced to leave to seek a future elsewhere. Examples of the surname recordings taken from church registers dating back to the earliest of such records in the time of King Henry V111 include Dulcibella Yelding who married Francis Pigot at St Mary Abchurch, London, on August 19th 1656, Henry Yielding of Dunton, Bedfordshire, a witness there on May 2nd 1708, and Thomas Yelden, christened at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, December 16th 1723. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of James Yeldinge, which was dated 1615, the register of the University of Oxford, during the reign of King James 1st of England and V1 of Scotland, 1603 - 1625. 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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