Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is a famous English medieval surname. It is however arguably of Germanic and pre 10th century Norman-French origins, being introduced into England at the famous conquest of 1066. It is a patronymic and originates from the name of the first name bearers father, the derivation being from the personal names Malgier or Mauger, with the elements "madal", meaning council, and "gari", a spear. European society has been almost invariably patriarchal throughout history, and as a result the given name of the male head of the household has often been handed on as a distinguishing name to successive generations. In this cases the earliest known example is probably that of Hugo filius Malgeri, recorded in the famous Domesday Book of the county of Essex in 1086. The surname is first recorded in the 13th century and today is found in the spellings of Mauger, Mager, Major and Mayger. Thomas Mauger is noted in the cartulary of Oseney Abbey, in Oxfordshire in the year 1260, whilst John Malger was witness in the Assize Court of Somerset in 1272. Recordings of the surname from London church registers include: the marriage of John Major and Agnes Hunt on January 29th 1567; and the christening of Alexander Majer, on June 5th 1629 at St. Botolph without Aldgate. The prime minister of Great Britain from 1990 to 1997 was John Major M.P., formerly of Brixton, In London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Mauger. This was dated 1250, in the tax rolls known as the "Feet of Fines" of Somerset", during the reign of King Henry 111rd, 1216 - 1272. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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