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About the study
This study began in June 2016, developing from my own family history research. Having built a tree that included over 160 Rigdens I have become fascinated with the surname, its origins and distribution.
The variants Rigdan and Rigdon are registered.
Some census transcripts have mis-transcribed the surname as Ryden, but this is not a variant.
The surname Rigden is thought to be locative. This is supported by the very heavy concentration in the North East of Kent.
History of the name
Perhaps the most well known Rigden was Edward who founded the Rigden's brewery in Faversham in the eighteenth century. This was taken over by Fremlins Ltd. of Maidstone in 1948.
The earliest Rigden in my family tree is Edward, who married Mary Fairbrass in Whitstable in 1778.
In 2014, there were 737 instances of the surname Rigden in England and 1,775 worldwide.
The ratio in England to the population as a whole is 1:73 270
Interestingly the highest density is in Bhutan, where the are 231. This gives a population ration of 1:3 250.
Statistic sourced from: http://forebears.co.uk/surnames/rigden