An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
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. Another source claims a slightly different origin of the place name: "The name Walden is said to be derived from the Saxon words Weald and Den, signifying a woody valley. At a latter period the place was called Waldenburgh. " 
The surname Walden was first found in Essex at Saffron Walden. "The name Walden is said to be derived from the Saxon words Weald and Den, signifying a woody valley. At a latter period the place was called Waldenburgh; and in the reign of Stephen."  Some of the family were 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.
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.
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.
Another 115 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Walden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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 United States in the 17th Century
Walden Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Walden Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Walden Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
Walden Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Walden Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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 29 February 2016 at 10:47.