Recorded in many forms including Madnor, Medmore, Mednot, Midmar, Midmer, Mudinor, and almost certainly other spellings as yet undiscovered, this is a locational surname. Indeed that is about the only thing which can be said about it with reasonable certainty. It may be Scottish, there is a small village called Midmar in Aberdeenshire, but there is no indication that this place name has ever produced surnames. The most likely explanation is that the name in its varied spellings is English, and originates from a now 'lost' medieval village.The name would seem to be a developed form of 'mid moor' or similar, a name which would indicate a village in the middle of a marsh or fen. In the 15th century many of the fens and lakes East Anglia as well as the Somerset Levels and parts of Gloucestershire were drained. As a result 'villages' which had previously existed on islands and perhaps survived by fishing, found themselves on dry land, and were 'enclosed' by the surrounding landlords as part of a systematic exploitation to recover more land for agriculture. It is estimated that over three thousand surnames do originate from 'lost' villages, and every indication is that this is one of them. Early examples of recordings taken from surviving church registers of Greater London include John Mednot at St Antholins church on October 16th 1546, Ellis Medmor who was christened at Harrow on the Hill, on December 17th 1648, and John Midnar, a witness at St Dunstans in the east, Stepney, on October 12th 1810.
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