This name is of English locational origin from a place called Foden (bank) in the township of Sutton, Prestbury parish, Cheshire. The name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'fode', to feed or graze, plus 'dene', a valley, hence, 'valley used for grazing'. The surname is particularly well recorded in Church Registers of Cheshire and London under the variant spellings Fowden and Foden from the mid 16th Century. On February 25th 1565 Margarett Foden and Roger Spurstowe were married in St. Mary's, Woolnoth, London, and on July 3rd 1568 Hugh Fowden or Fodon married a Margearye Stubbs in Prestbury Church. A further marriage - that of George Foden and Dorothy Seele - took place in St. Mary's Church, Stockport, Cheshire, on November 25th 1599. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ellen Fowden married John Howleye, which was dated October 14th 1561 in Prestbury, Cheshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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.