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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Walden family come from? What is the English Walden family crest and coat of arms? When did the Walden family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Walden family history?

The name Walden is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when a family lived in or near any of the places named Walden in Essex, Hertfordshire, and Northern Yorkshire. Walden is a local surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Other types of local surnames include topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. The surname Walden comes from the Old English words wealh and denu, which mean foreigner and valley. Thus, the surname would have been given to a person who was a stranger from a valley.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Walden family name include Walden, Waldern, Waldon, Waldew and others.

First found in Essex where they held a family seat being granted the lands of Walden Abbey and adopting their surname from those lands. However, while the name originates in this county, the first on record was Godeman de Waldena who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1176 in Hertfordshire. Simone de Waldene was listed in 1304 in Yorkshire. Another early record of the name is of Thomas Walden, recorded in the Pipe Rolls for Essex, 1377. Today, Saffron Walden is a market town in Uttlesford district of Essex, home of Walden Abbey, a Benedictine monastery, founded by Geoffrey de Mandeville, 1st Earl of Essex between 1136 and 1143; Walden and Walden Head are hamlets in the Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire; and Walden Stubbs is a village and civil parish in the Selby district of North Yorkshire.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Walden research. Another 93 words(7 lines of text) covering the years 1405, 1401, 1372, 1388, 1390, 1406, 1397, 1405, 1406, 1387 and 1405 are included under the topic Early Walden History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 115 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Walden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Walden surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Walden Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Robert Walden, who landed in Virginia in 1622
  • Humphrey and Robert Walden who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Humphrey Walden, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Sam Walden who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Samuel Walden, aged 16, arrived in Virginia in 1635


Walden Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Anne Walden settled in Maryland in 1722

Walden Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Gustavus Walden, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1839

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  • Henry Walden (1883-1968), American aeronautical engineer and builder of the first US monoplane in 1909
  • Ebenezer Walden (1777-1857), American politician from Buffalo, New York
  • Narada Michael Walden (b. 1952), American producer, drummer, singer, and songwriter
  • Jordan Craig Walden (b. 1987), American Major League Baseball pitcher with the Atlanta Braves
  • William Garrett "W.G. Snuffy" Walden (b. 1950), American multiple Emmy Award nominated musician and composer, recipient of 26 BMI Awards
  • Gregory Paul Walden (b. 1957), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Oregon (1999-)
  • Harold Adrian Walden (1887-1955), English gold medalist football player at the 1912 Summer Olympics
  • Brian Walden (b. 1932), British Labour Member of Parliament, journalist and broadcaster
  • John Morgan Walden (1831-1914), Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Paul Walden (1863-1957), Russian chemist


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  4. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  5. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Walden Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Walden Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 March 2014 at 08:57.

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