This interesting name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and has two possible derivations. Firstly, it may derive from one of two Olde English pre 7th Century personal names, "Ealdhere" or "Aethelhere", which are composed of the elements "eald", old, or "aethel", noble, with "here", army. Secondly, the modern surname Alder, and its variant forms Allder, Alldre, Alders and Older, may derive from a topographical name for someone who lived near an alder tree or glade of alders, derived from the Olde English "alor", alder. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages. The development of the surname since 1221 (see below) includes: John atte Alre (1327, Somerset), and Alexander Aldres (1332, Warwickshire). The rare names Nalder, Nolder and Nolda arise from the fusion of the medieval preposition "atten" (at the) alder, as a topographical name. Recordings of the surname from London Church Registers include the marriage of Charles Allder and Katherine Sugar at St. Katherine Creechurch, on March 16th 1668. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph de Alre, which was dated 1221, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Berkshire", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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