This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the hamlet of Hidden, situated north east of Hungerford in Berkshire. Recorded as "Hyddene" in the Saxon Chartulary, dated 984, and as "Hudden" in the Cartulary of the Monastery of St. Frideswide, dated circa 1170, the place was so named from the Olde English pre th Century "hyth", landing-place, with "denu", valley; hence, "river valley with a landing-place". Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. The surname is particularly well recorded in Church Registers of Hungerford, Berkshire, from the mid 16th Century, where on February 23rd 1563, the christening of Jone, daughter of Anthony Hidden, took place, and on December 2nd 1568, Vrsula Hidden married an Edward Collens. One of the earliest recordings of the surname from London is the christening of Thomas, son of William Hidden, at St. Olave's, Hart Street, on January 9th 1586. Variations on the spelling in the modern idiom include: Hiden, Hedan, Hiddon and Hidon. The Coat of Arms most associated with the name is a red shield with three bezants. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of George Hidden, which was dated September 14th 1559, witness at the christening of his son, Will, at Hungerford, Berkshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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.