This is an English locational surname. It originates from a former medieval village of the same name in the county of Kent. Surnames from now 'lost' villages are a feature of the British Isles surnames listings, and it is estimated that over three thousand modern surnames survive from this source. Today the village of Pattenden has disappeared completely and according to the gazetters of Britain, is only recorded as a locality. The name is believed to translate as 'The valley of the Peatta tribe', the latter being a well known people of Ancient British origins who inhabited various parts of the south east of England in the period after the end of the Roman Invasion in 410 a.d. As to why villages disappeared has been the subject of many books. In general the most usual reason was changes in agricultural practice, when sheep farming took over arable land, and required fewer workers. However war and in particular plague, also played their parts, the latter wiping out large sections of the community. In this case we have a number of examples in early records. These include Henry Pattenden, recorded as being a student at Oxford University in 1582 - 83, whilst Margaret Pattenden married George Fowle at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, in 1790.