This surname has many variant spellings which include EDEN, EDELEN, EADEN, EDDON and EDAN. A family of the name EDENS have held lands at Windleston Hall, by Eden Burn in County Durham, since at least the 15th century; they acquired a baronetcy in 1672. Their most prominent member has been Sir Anthony EDEN (1897-1977) who was Foreign Secretary (1935-38) and Prime Minister of England (1955-57). The name was originally rendered in the Old English form EADUN, literally meaning the dweller at Castle Eden or Eden Burn in County Durham, both places derived from a British river, perhaps meaning water, recorded as early as the 2nd century in the form ITUNA. Hereditary surnames were originally imported from France into England during the Norman Conquest of 1066. In the two centuries or so after the Conquest surnames were acquired by most families of major landholders, and many landed families of lesser importance. There appears to have been a constant trickle of migration into Britain between about the years 1200 and 150O, mostly from France and the Low Countries, with a small number of migrants from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and the Iberian peninsular, and occasional individuals from further afield. During this period groups of aliens settled in this country as for example, the Germans who from the late 15th century onwards settled in Cumbria to work the metal mines. Immigration during this time had only a small effect on the body of surnames used in Britain. In many cases, the surnames of immigrants were thoroughly Anglicised. The late sixteenth century saw the arrival, mostly in London and the south-coast ports of large numbers of people fleeing from the war regions of France. Other instances of the name include Johan et EDDEN of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, and Robertus ed EDEN was documented in the same document. Henrie Sadde and Parnell EADEN were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1660.
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