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This surname, widely recorded in English Church Registers from the mid 16th Century, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from either of two places called Barden in Yorkshire, or from some minor, unrecorded, or now "lost" place thus called in the south east of England. Barden near Leyburn in the Yorkshire North Riding, entered as "Bernedan" in the Domesday Book of 1086, has as its component elements the Olde English pre 7th Century adjective "beren", "of barley", from "bere", barley, with "denu", a dene, valley, and Barden near Skipton in the West Riding, recorded as "Berden" in 1314, is also named with these elements. Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The high incidence of early surname recordings in Surrey and Sussex suggest either a considerable migration of people from the Yorkshire villages in the Middle Ages for job-seeking purposes, etc., or else the existence of a medieval settlement called Barden in one of the above counties. On November 12th 1556, Johannes Barden was christened at Howden, Yorkshire, and on November 16th 1561, Jane, daughter of John Barden, was christened at Ardingly, Sussex. A Coat of Arms granted to the Barden family depicts three red swords conjoined in point on a silver shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicholas Barden, which was dated November 26th 1552, marriage to Annis Stanes, at Farnham, Surrey, during the reign of King Edward V1, known as "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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