Recorded as Alden, Aldine, Auden, Adin, and others, this is a medieval English surname. It derives from the personal name of the pre 7th Century Ealdwine, meaning Old friend and the Latinized versions as Aldanus aand Alden are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. Another early recording although not as a surname is that of Gamel filius Alden in the Pipe Rolls of Westmorland in 1196. Early examples of the surname recodings include Osgotus Aldwinus of Berkshire in 1196; Alexander Aldeyn of Oxfordshire in 1279, and William Audyn of Somerset, in 1327. John Alden was one of the Pilgrim Fathers who sailed on the ship "Mayflower" in 1620. Many of his descendants were merchant seamen, among them James Alden (1810 - 1877), who completed two circumnavigations of the globe. A coat of arms associated with the surname has the blazon of ared shield charged with three crescents within a bordure engrailed ermine. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aelfwine Aldine.This was dated 1095, in the Feudal Documents from the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King William 11nd, known as "Rufus", 1087 - 1100. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.