This is apparently an English locational surname. We have to say "apparently" because we are unable to find any such place as Magwood in any of the gazetters of the British Isles for the past three centuries. This is not entirely unusual, surnames from "lost" medieval villages are being discovered all the time, and now represent around five thousand, or 2% of all native surnames. The make up of the surname is similar to the Lancashire village name and surname, Maghull. According to the Oxford Dictionary of English Place Names, Maghull probably means the place where mayweed grew, from the Olde English pre 6th century words "maeghe-halh".As to whether Mayweed wood is logical for a place name, is open to conjecture. Locational surnames are usually "from" names. That is names given to strangers who had moved from their original homes, and thereafter were named after that place. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the creation of "sounds like" forms. Is Magwood a transposition of some other spelling? Not according to the International Genealogical Index. An 18th century recording in the surviving church registers of the city of London is that of Robert Magwood at St Vedast, Foster Lane, on July 14th 1765.
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