This unusual and interesting name has two possible origins, the first and most likely being from the Norman nickname for a very "male", masculine man, from the Olde French word "masle". In Middle English the word became "male", meaning virile, masculine. The second possible origin is from a German nickname for someone with a reputation for talking or perhaps eating excessively, derived from the German "maul", meaning "mouth". The surname development has included Stephen Male (1230, Essex) and Robert Mayle (1607, London). The christening of Sarah, daughter of Thomas Maile, was recorded at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1735. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Masle, which was dated 1187, The Berkshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry II, The Builder of Churches, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as 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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