The family originated in the area of West Lancashire in a small geographic area comprising a strip between Wigan in the South, and Preston in the North. The name is possibly taken from the village of Baxenden near Accrington. The meaning of the name is "Bakestone Valley" from the Old English "Baecstan" + "denu" (Valley). Later the Middle English "dale" substituted for the OE "den". (Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames) (Surnames of NW Lancashire) (Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames, Bardsley C.W. 1901)
A bakestone was a large flat stone which could be heated over a fire and used for cooking flat bread, girdle cakes etc. It not only had to be the right shape and size, but had to hold and conduct heat correctly and not crack or break up with heating and cooling.
Names were written down by Parish Clerks as they were heard to be said or in the form with which they were most familiar, so many variants emerged, some often quite localised. The earliest example I have found is William de Bakestonden (1332) (Lancashire Lay Subsidies - John Rylands et al.) Nearly 200 different spellings are recorded in Parish registers between 1556 and the present day.
Before 1700 the "n" endings were almost exclusively used. Between then and 1750 the "l" ending gradually increased in popularity, and after 1760 had gained a majority which has continued to the present, although there are still Baxendens around. The variant "Baxendell" began to appear sporadically around the same time as "Baxendale" but was not commonly or consistently used until some members of our family began to insist on it in the late 18th Century. Even so, Baxendells continued to be recorded as "Baxendale" in official records despite the individuals' signatures, and this still occurs. The earliest recorded "Baxendell" I have found is that of Catherine Baxendell, christened 6.9.1730, Warrington Lancs.
Until the 19th Century the Baxendells (and variants) remained predominantly in N.W. Lancashire, although a branch established itself in Yorkshire, centred around Halifax and Bradford in the 1700s, mostly using the variant "Baxandall", and some members moved to London fairly early.
The variants, Baxendell, Baxendale, Baxenden, Baxendean, Baxandall all have the same origins. Bascendale is a result of people reading the old script "x" which looks like "sc".
hope this answers your question!
David Baxendell Christchurch New Zealand looking for BAXENDELL,BAXENDALE etc. anywhere, anytime