This German surname of LADEN was an occupational name for one who operated a smal shop or stall, a shopkeeper. The name is also spelt LADENSON. The earliest merchants were the itinerant pedlers who carried their stock of goods strapped to their backs. They called upon castles, manor houses and cottages. They often congregated at the church on Sundays to exhibit their wares. The king exercised the power of licensing the right to hold a fair or market which was profitable to the lord and trader alike. The more established traders were attracted to the larger cities, where they grew wealthy and became respected citizens. There were many traders and merchants during medieval times because usually the man who made the article or grew the crop was the dealer. Many of the modern family names throughout Europe reflect the profession or occupation of their forbears in the Middle Ages and derive from the position held by their ancestors in the village, noble household or religious community in which they lived and worked. The addition of their profession to their birth name made it easier to identify individual tradesmen and craftsmen. As generations passed and families moved around, so the original identifying names developed into the corrupted but simpler versions that we recognise today. Because of the close relationship between the English and German languages, some Germans are able to transform their names to the English form just by dropping a single letter. Many Germans have re-spelt their names in America. A great number of immigrants from Germany settled in Pennsylvania. After the start of the first World War, Germans in great numbers Anglicized their names in an effort to remove all doubt as to their patriotism. Afterwards some changed back, and then during World War II the problem became acute once more, and the changing started all over again, although not with as much intensity. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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