This is a medieval English surname. Recorded in the spellings of Gladwin, Gladding, and Gladdin, it derives from a truly ancient personal name which is believed to be pre 7th century, and to originate from the phrase "glaed-wine". This loosely translates as "Good friend". The name is recorded in the famous Domesday Book of the year 1086 when landowners in both Lincolnshire and Staffordshire appear as Gladuin and Gladuine. As a surname the first recording is probably that of Henry Gladewine in the Winton Rolls of the county of Hampshire in 1148, and later in 1317, Robert Gledewyne appears in the Assize Register for the county of Kent. What is surprising about this surname is that it has survived at all. After the Norman-French Invasion of England in 1066, it became political suicide for those who wished to advance themselves to continue to use "Saxon" names. In addition and as a further blow to true English names, the Crusades which commenced at the begining of the 12th century, lead to the wide adoption of biblical names as a public relations exercise in support of the twelve unsuccessful attempts to free the Holy Land. Nevertheless this name grew in popularity and by the begining of the surname period was well established throughout society. Later recordings include Katherine Gladwin, the daughter of William Gladwin, christened at St Mary Aldermary, in the city of London, whilst Thomas Gladin or Gladwin, the spelling is unclear, was an early landowner in Jamaica in 1679.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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