Recorded as Madison, Maddyson, and Maddison, this is a famous surname particularly in the USA. It was originally a metronymic, that is to say a surname which came from the mother rather than the father. It derives from the medieval female name Maddie or Maddy, nickname forms of Maud and Mahalt, themselves from the Norman personal name Matilda. This ancient personal name was actually Germanic, and comprised the elements "maht", meaning might or strength, plus "hild", a battle. The original popularity in England was from Matilda, the wife of William the Conqueror, when for at least a century after the Norman Invasion of 1066, it was "politically correct" to name children with French names. In this case the name gained an additional boost the granddaughter of William and Matilda, another Matilda, but sometimes known as Maud, fought to oust her cousin Stephen from the English throne. Early examples of the surname recordings include William Maddison, recorded in the chartulary or register of Durham Priory in the year 1430, whilst in 1558, Anne Maddesonne, was christened at St. Peter's Cornhill, in the city of London. James Madison (1751 - 1836), one of the framers of the original constitution in 1784. He was elected the fourth president of the United States in 1809. His presidency was spoilt by a war with England, which he tried hard to prevent. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Madyson. This was dated 1425, in the register of the freeman of York City, during the reign of King Henry V1th of England, 1422-1461. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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