Willden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancestry of the name Willden dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in or near any of the places named Walden in Essex, Hertfordshire, and Northern Yorkshire. Willden 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 Willden 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. " 
Early Origins of the Willden family
The surname Willden 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.
Another source notes that Walden means "valley of the Britons," from the Old English "walh" + "denu." 
King's Walden in Hertfordshire dates back to Saxon times when it was originally known as Waleden in 888, but by the time of the Domesday Book of 1086, it was known as Waldene and was held by the king at that time. 
And this is where we found the first record of the family, specifically Godeman de Waldena who was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1176. Years later, Simone de Waldene was listed in 1304 in Yorkshire. Another early record of the name is Thomas Walden, recorded in the Pipe Rolls for Essex, 1377. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists Alice de Waledene in Cambridgeshire; and Richard de Waledene in Cambridgeshire. Later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls lists Thomas Waldyng (1379); and Johannes Waldyng (1370) 
Humphrey de Waleden (d. 1330?) was an English judge, a 'king's clerk,' who was "appointed to the custody of the lands of Simon de Montacute, first Baron Montacute, in the counties of Somerset, Devon, Dorset, Oxford, and Buckingham, and on 16 Jan. 1291 to the custody of the lands of the late Queen Eleanor. " 
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. 
Early History of the Willden family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Willden research. Another 59 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1405, 1573, 1401, 1372, 1388, 1390, 1406, 1397, 1405, 1406, 1387 and 1405 are included under the topic Early Willden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Willden Spelling Variations
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Willden have been found, including Walden, Waldern, Waldon, Waldew and others.
Early Notables of the Willden family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir Alexander Walden (died 1401), knighted by 1372, Member of Parliament for Essex (1388-1390.)
Roger Walden (died 1406), was an English diving, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1397, an English treasurer, church figure, served Richard II as secretary, elected...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Willden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Willden family
Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Willden, or a variant listed above: Humphrey and Robert Walden who settled in Virginia in 1623; Sam Walden who settled in Virginia in 1635; Thomas Walden, his wife and children and servants arrived in Barbados in 1680.
Contemporary Notables of the name Willden (post 1700) +
- Charles William Willden, American settler who with his son, Elott built Willden Fort, a wooden-palisade fort near Cove Creek, Utah in 1860
Related Stories +
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print