This most interesting and unusual surname is a variant of "Basten, Bastian", which itself is a pet form of the surname Sebastian, from the given name "Sebastian", originating from the Latin "Sebastianus", originally an ethnic name meaning "man from Sebastia", a city in Pontus named from the Greek "sebastos", revered. This name was borne by a 3rd Century martyr who became the patron saint of Nuremberg, hence its popularity in Germany. The surname itself is also found as Bastiaen and Bastiaan in the Netherlands; Bastian and Bastion in England; and Bastien in France. Early examples of the surname include: the marriage of John Baseden and Elizabeth Sparrow on January 17th 1569, at the church of St. Margaret's, Westminster, London; the marriage of Will and Joane Basden at Cranbrook, Kent, on September 28th 1573; and the marriage of William Basden and Joane Geery on December 1st 1622, at St. Clement's, Hastings in Sussex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jarvis Baseden, which was dated November 8th 1556, a christening witness at St. Mary Magdalene's, Stepney, London, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Bloody Mary", 1553 - 1558. 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.