The surname of SUGDON was a locational name 'of Sugden' a small spot in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The name was derived from the Old English word SUCGA DENU, literally meaning the dweller in the valley of the sparrows. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention Robertus de Sugden of Yorkshire, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. William Sugden and Catherine Lenyall were married in London in the year 1555. Habitation names were originally acquired by the original bearer of the name, who, having lived by, at or near a place, would then take that name as a form of identification for himself and his family. When people lived close to the soil as they did in the Middle Ages, they were acutely conscious of every local variation in landscape and countryside. Every field or plot of land was identified in normal conversation by a descriptive term. If a man lived on or near a hill or mountain, or by a river or stream, forests and trees, he might receive the word as a family name. Almost every town, city or village early times, has served to name many families. A notable member of the name was Samuel Sugden (1892-1950) the English chemist, born in Leeds. He was the professor at Birkbeck College in 1932 and University College, London from 1937. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification.
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