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About the study

I began my research and documentation of the Paden/Peden families in 1968 when I found a letter written in 1964 from Norma Paden Locke to my father:

However, I was surprised when I found his reply, he never sent it!

The magnitude and scope of the project that Norma wanted to do really intrigued and interested me. We corresponded several times and I have been pursuing it ever since.

At this time (1968) the only widely available compiled information about "€œPedens"€ was the book "€œThe Pedens of America"€ published in 1961 first published in 1900. This book was about the family and descendants of John Peden and Margaret "€œPeggy"€ McDill from South Carolina. This family group also had the advantage to have an annual family reunion since 1955 the first was held in 1899, the second in 1909. Unfortunately, this book was compiled largely from personal information with no sources included to verify the accuracy of the information. Unfortunate also is that this book has been available for a long time and some of that information is inaccurate and misleading. Many researchers unknowingly accepted this information as fact and in so doing it was repeated and widely circulated. Trying to correct widely accepted information is like trying to "€œun-ring"€ a bell. However, a new updated book was published in 2013.

The next major compilation was the book "€œGenealogy of The Pedens of Kentucky 1756-1986"€ published in 1986 by Henry C. Peden, Jr. This book is about the family and descendants of John Peden and Mary Smith from Virginia and Kentucky. Henry did an excellent job in presenting and sourcing this family history including many pictures and copies of documents to support his sources this is the family line I come from.

In 2003 Norma Paden Locke finally published a book about the family and descendants of Samuel Peden and Lydia Potter, "€œPeden-Paden family history, descendants of Samuel Peden and Lydia Potter Peden"€ compiled by "€œThe Paden Five"€.

In October 2003 I was the first Paden to be DNA tested by

This was followed by Mark Paden from the John Peden and Margaret "€œPeggy"€ McDill family line from South Carolina. Since we did not match, the theory about "€œ3 brothers"€ who came to America was no longer valid.

The next step was the creation of the Paden / Peden Family History and Genealogy website in August 2006. This website was created to help support the Paden/Peden DNA project. The intent was to document and record every Paden/Peden family in the United States and to facilitate the exchange of information and reduce duplication of research efforts.

Variant names

Paden, Padan, Padin, Pedan, Pedden, Pethin

Name origin

It is generally accepted that Alexander Pethein "€œPeden the Prophet"€ (1626-1685), of Auchencloich Farm, Sorn, Ayrshire, Scotland was the first to use the spelling of "€œPeden"€ when he enrolled at the University of Glasgow in 1643. Afterwards, his four brothers adopted the spelling of "€œPeden"€ also, and so Ayrshire, Scotland is the ancestral home to the Peden surname.

History of the name

Alexander Peden (1626-1686), Scotland, known as Peden the Prophet. One of the leading forces in the Covenanter movement.

Forrest E. Peden (1913-1945), American soldier awarded the Medal of Honor.

Leslie Earl Peden (1923-2002), American Major League Baseball catcher.

Preston Elmer Peden (1914-1985), U.S. Representative from Oklahoma.

Robert "€œRobbie"€ Lloyd Peden (1973- ), Australian professional boxer.

John "€œJack"€ Peden (1865- ), Irish footballer.

Bill Peden (1970- ), Australian former rugby league footballer.

James Douglas "€œDoug"€ Peden (1916-2005), Canadian basketball player who competed at the 1936 Summer Olympics.

William "€œTorchy"€ Peden (1906-1980), Canadian bicycle champion.

Peden Stadium, Ohio University, named after Coach Donald Charles Peden (1898-1970)

Name frequency

The top 5 countries with the surname of Peden are:

New Zealand 39.86 per million

United Kingdom 28.95 per million

Australia 26.41 per million

United States 20.27 per million

Canada 14.67 per million

Distribution of the name

Many Highland families migrated from Scotland to Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries, and were granted the lands of the native Catholic Irish. People heard of the attractions of the New World, and many left Ireland to seek a better life.


All Peden surnames from the 1860 United States federal census have been recorded (584 entries) and all Paden surnames from the 1860 United States federal census have been recorded (618 entries).

All Peden surnames from the U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 have been recorded (460 entries) and all Paden surnames from the U.S. World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918 have been recorded (411 entries)