The surname of GOLDEN was a baptismal name 'the son of Goldwin'. Following the crusades in Europe during the 11th to the 13th centuries, a need was felt for a family name to replace the one given at birth, or in addition to it. This was recognized by those of nobel birth, and particularly by those who went on the Crusades, as it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. The name was in general use before the close of the 13th Century. French influences are traceable in some of the instances included below. The name was brought into England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. Early records of the name mention Golding Palmarius of the County of Kent in 1273. Roger le Gildene of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Willelmus Goldyng of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Isabella Goldyng, ibid. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. A notable member of the name was Louis Golding ( 1895-1958 ) the English novelist and essayist. His best known work is 'Magnolia Stree ' which was published in 1932, the story of a typical street in a provincial city, whose inhabitants were Jews on one side, Gentiles on the other. The name was also nickname 'the one with golden hair'. The name has many variant spellings which include Goulden, Goulding, Goolden and Goolding.
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