William Hart Cowden
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English and Scottish: habitational name from any of at least three places named Cowden. One in Northumbria occurs in 1286 as Colden and is derived from Old English col ‘(char)coal’ + denu ‘valley’; that in East Yorkshire occurs in Domesday Book as Coledun and is from Old English col + dun ‘hill’; while one in Kent is recorded in 1160 as Cudena and is from Old English cu ‘cow’ + denn ‘pasture’. The last does not appear to have yielded any surnames; the surname is more or less restricted to northern England, and is also found in northern Ireland, where it may be of Scottish origin, from places called Cowden near Dollar and near Dalkeith, Lothian.