Gadsden - what does Gadsden surname mean?

This name is of English locational origin from Great or Little Gaddesden in Hertfordshire. Recorded as Gaetesdene in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 944 and as Magna (Great) and Parva (Little) Gatesden in the 1254 Pipe Rolls of that county, the name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century personalnickname `Gaete` from `Gat`, a goat, plus `denu` or `dene` a valley. The surname is first recorded in the latter half of the 13th Century, (see below). One, Richard de Gatisdene and a John de Gattsdene appear on record in Buckinghamshire and Norfolk in 1273 and 1275 respectively. On December 11th 1586 Marye, daughter of Thomas Gaddesden, was christened in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and on May 11th 1623 Ann, daughter of Luke Gadsden was christened in Hitchin. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Audufus de (of) Gatesden, which was dated 1272, The Hundred Rolls of Bedfordshire, during the reign of King Edward I, The Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. 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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