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About the study
I started my family tree in 1983 and research into my maiden name of Pattenden soon turned into a one name study when I widened my search to find my three times great grandfather's birthplace. My collection consists of 9,850 individual Pattenden cards, a 15,000 person computer family tree currently held on RootsMagic and a collection of over fifty ringbinders containing Pattenden extracts from censuses, parish registers, wills and other sources.
Variants include Patinden and Patynden, the unusual Padtenden and the modern Pattendon. The 150 variations in spelling form a very small proportion of my study. Sometimes a more familiar name such as Paddington or Patterson is found substituted for Pattenden.
My father always thought that the name Pattenden came from charcoal burners in the forest, from the Saxon denne' a clearing in the forest, but other sources suggest that it is from the old English pre seventh century personal name 'Peatta' or from 'Pat' a pet form of Patrick and that the old English 'denn' meant a swine pasture or a 'woody valley, or place yielding both covert and feeding for cattle, especially swine'. The Saxon word 'patta' means a stream with a tendency to swell. Pattyndenne Manor, Goudhurst, Kent is at the bottom of a hill by a stream.
History of the name
The first reference to the name is found in the form 'de Patinden' in the Kent Assizes in 1254 followed by William and Cecilia de Patinden in Middleton, Kent in 1318. By 1334 Ralph and Isolda de Patindenne were paying nine shillings and sixpence in the Kent Lay Subsidy. In 1396 Nicholas Patynden lived in Cranbrook, Kent and the first time the name is found in its current form is in 1464 when Bartholomew Pattenden lived in Iden, Staplehurst, Kent. Pattyndenne Manor, Goudhurst, Kent was built in 1470 and is still in use today as a family home and Little Pattenden. Pattenden Lane, Marden, Kent is all that remains of the Manors of Great and Little Pattenden.
Up to 9,850 known individual Pattendens since 1254. 400 Pattendens in the British telephone books and 100 in the Canadian telephone books, 4106 births, 3080 marriages and 2628 deaths registered in England & Wales from 1837 - 2002.
Distribution of the name
The earliest references to the name Pattenden occur in the Kent and Sussex Weald and then spread to Surrey and London. By 1990 there were Pattendens in most of Britain and they had spread to Australia, Canada, France, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.
Pattenden entries from births, marriages and deaths, censuses, directories, parish registers, telephone books, wills and miscellaneous references to the name as a surname, forename, place name, farm or building name. Guild Marriage Index entries.