Very glad to see that GenForum has added the name PADEN. Many PADEN researchers are not aware that this is a common variation of the PEDEN name.
The PEDEN name originated in Ayrshire, Scotland in the early 1600's. During the Covenanter persecutions in the 1600's some Pedens relocated to the Ulster Plantations being established in Ireland under King James. These Pedens settled in Co. Antrim, Ireland. During the colonial period in America there were several primary migrations of Pedens to the colonies from Ireland. Most PADENS in this country derive from one of the three early Peden families who settled in three different colonies: Pennsylvania, South Carolina, or Virginia. Each of these families had descendants who adopted the PADEN spelling of the name.
The reason that this change came about was that the name PEDEN was pronounced PAY'den. Many descendants changed the spelling to reflect the proper pronunciation. A number of descendants who retained the proper PEDEN spelling now pronounce their name PEE'den. The PEDENS living in and around Greenville Co., SC have kept both the proper spelling and pronunciation of the name; i.e. spelled PEDEN and pronounced PAY'den.
There were other Peden migrations to the United States from both Scotland and Ireland but I am not aware of the adoption of the PADEN spelling by any other groups other than the three early families listed above. After several surname searches I have concluded that there are as many, if not more, PADENS in the US as PEDENS.
Regardless of how the name is spelled or pronounced the PEDENS and PADENS all share the same origins.
I hope this explanation may be helpful to someone.
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