This unusual name is of English locational origin, and is found particularly in the northern counties. It comes from the place, "Aspden" in Lancashire, situated between Blackburn and Accrington. The placename derives from the Old English pre 7th Century "aespe", meaning "aspen", and "denu", valley. The surname may also derive from the village of "Aspenden", near Buntingford in Hertfordshire, first recorded in 1212 as "Apseden" and in 1220 as "Aspedene". The meaning is the same:- "Aspen valley". When people left their original homes to live or work in another area, their locational names were dispersed around the country. One Agnes Aspden was christened on the 30th March 1568 at Burnley, Lancashire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Aspden, married Robert Bowker. which was dated 9th August 1540, Whalley, Lancashire. during the reign of King Henry VIII, Bluff King Hal, 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.