This unusual and interesting surname is of early medieval English origin. It was a nickname for a sensitive and gentle man or given the robust humour of those times, the complete opposite! The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "maegden", which did mean a young girl. A sizeable group of early European surname were created from the habitual use of nicknames given usually with reference to occupation, personal and physical characteristics, supposed resemblance to animal's or bird's or even habits of dress. This name could be occupational for a hand maiden or personal maid. The following examples illustrate the name development after 1197 (see below): Robert le Mayden (Fine Rolls 1284); Adam le Maiden (Cambridgeshire 1273); and George Madin (1753, Aldermary, London). Recordings from London church registers include the christening of John Maidens on May 24th 1579, at St. Olave's, Hart Street. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Maiden. This was dated 1197, in the Pipe Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Richard 1st, known as "Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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