The Great Britain Family Names website allows you to find out where your surname comes from, and how many people share it. Bryden isn’t that common, but what interests me is the geographical spread. Even though the last century has been one of unprecedented mobility, there is still a clear concentration around southwest Scotland. My family and I are all diaspora, south of the Watford Gap.
Interestingly, Brydon is concentrated in southeast Scotland. The suffixes have different origins:
- DEN at the end of the place name is usually derived from denn, which meant pasture, usually for pigs.
- DON is usually derived from the word ‘dun’, which meant hill. The South Downs were the South Duns.