Perhaps two thirds of all surnames are effectively variants of proven standard names. "Burndred" is one of these, although less obvious than most. It derives from the habitational Old English "baernet-hrycg", to translate as "one who lived at the ridge cleared by fire" - this method of farming having ancient origins. It is possible that such a village as Burn(t)edge or Burnidge did once exist, but if so the locality has formed one of the seven thousand medieval villages now "lost" although Burnage in Lancashire is a possibility. The transposition of the spelling is a common phenomena caused by faulty spelling, this is still going on in the 20th Century, despite improvements in education. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ann Burnedge, which was dated October 27th 1644, recorded at St. Botolphs Church, Bishopgate, London, during the reign of King Charles I, "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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.