Hebden & Variants Genealogy Website

Hebden Hebdon Hebdin Hepden Hepton Ebden Ebdon and Epton

Hebden Clan surnames are registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies (click the logo to go to the Guild website). - email us at hebden@one-name.org !

900 A.D. - 1300, Pre-Norman to Medieval

The origin of the Hebden family pre-dates the Norman Conquest and goes back to Aldhun, the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Durham, who held the post from 995 to 1018AD. The bishops were immensely powerful, and often wealthy landowners in their own right, - Aldhun was no exception. His daughter Ecgfrida married Uhtred, the Earl of Northumbria, and had a son Aldred. From a subsequent marriage Ecgfrida produced a daughter, Sigrida (born 1015)

Sigrida had married three times, once even to Edwulf, Uhtred’s son by his second marriage to Sigen. The tendency to marry close family relatives suggests that some of these marriages may have been political or to protect family assets. Sigrida's third marriage was to Arkil, son of Ecgfrith and from here the Hebden line emerges through their son Gospatric de Rigton, born between 1040 -1045AD. He married Matilda (perhaps also a descendant of Uhtred) around 1065, and produced four sons, one of whom, Uhtred jnr, inherited the estates owned by Gospatric and became the first Lord of Hebden, Burnsall and Conistone.

Burnsall church

Arkil fled to Scotland in 1068 after rebelling against William the Conqueror but Gospatric remained in England and married the daughter of Dolfin (son of Thorfin). Their son, Dolfin of Appletreewick, had three sons Thorfin, Swayne, and Uchtred De Hebden of Coniston and Burnsall, who became Lord of the Manor of Hebden around 1145.

From him, the Lordship passed to his son Simon De Hebden who had four sons. The eldest, William, eventually inherited the title, and married Alice Aleman, the widow of Sir John Aleman of Studeley. The marriage however, produced two daughters, Ellena and Cassa, with no male heir to the title.

Ellena effectively regenerated the Hebden line. Her second marriage to Sir Nicholas De Ebor produced a son, William. The title passed to Sir Nicholas through the female line on marrying Ellena, and the succession then passed to their son William around 1250.


(Top) St Wilfred's Church, Burnsall from the bottom of the churchyard. The present church dates from the early 1500s, but there is evidence of a church on this site before the Norman Conquest. William Hebden (1902-1973) one of the first Hebden researchers is buried in the churchyard (see the Miscellany page).

(Above) A board on the wall below the west window at the back of the church showing the Rectors of Burnsall from 1228. Hebdens are well represented!

William de Ebor & Hebden's wife was called Cicely (or Cecilia,- Her family name is unknown) and the line of William de Hebdens continued with the birth of their son Sir William de Hebden around 1264 and Emma De Hebden. Note the subtle change in title from William to Sir Willliam. William senior must have died before 1294 as in that year his widow remarried to an Amadus De Surdlyal. Whilst nothing further is known about his sister Emma (no doubt she went on to make a fortuitous match), Sir William, Lord of Hebden and Conistone was brought up in the custody of the Abbot of Fountains. He went on to marry Isabella de Yelland, the daughter and heiress of Sir Richard de Yelland.