This is an English locational surname of the medieval period. Recorded in several spellings including Malden, Maldon, Maulden, Maldin, and Moulding, it originates either from the ancient village of Malden in the county of Surrey, or possibly from the similiarly named Maldon in Essex. Locational surnames by their very nature, were given either to the local lord of the manor, or more usually to nameholders after they left their original village and moved elsewhere. "Elsewhere" could be as close as the next village, or as far away as a major city, of which only London, Bristol, Norwich, and York, had any significant size. Moving away, given the lack of any education, and the very "thick" local dialects, lead to the development of the alternative spellings. This name however spelt, derives from the Olde English pre 7th century "dun" meaning a hill, plus "mael", a cross or monument. These "maels" were often meeting places of the tribes or their aldermen, in ancient times. The first village recording is that of Maeldun in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of the year 916, and later as Meldone in the 1086 Domesday Book for Surrey. The first surname recordings in the surviving church registers are 16th century, and these include Joane Mouldinge, in the register of the church of St James, Clerkenwell, on February 20th 1587, and Elizabeth Maldon, at Christ Church, Greyfriars, London, on May 5th 1588. The first recording of the surname was probably that of Thomas Maldon, the prior of Maldon, in Essex, who died there in the year 1404.
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