There are several curious and conjectural aspects of this rare surname. It is definitely habitational, but can clearly derive from either of two distinct and unrelated origins. The first is Olde English pre 7th Century from the village of Malshanger in the County of Hampshire. This village name translates as "the place on the (wooded) slope", from the elements "hangr", a slope, or wood on the side of a steep slope, and "mal", a shortened dialectal version of "mael", sand-bank. The second origination is German, although of Norse-Viking pre 9th Century antecedents, and derives from "malske", meaning a marsh or swamp, plus "inger", denoting "dweller at" or "the person from". The recordings are later than expected, the London example shown below probably being from the English origins, whilst Frederich Malschinger, who was a witness to the christening of his triplets, Annie, Bertha and Frederich, on March 14th 1866, at St. Anne's Church, Soho, London, was clearly from the Continent. A true Continental recording is that of Franziska Malschinger, who married Paul Doerller at Niederbayern, Germany, on February 1st 1886. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Malsenger, which was dated October 21st 1805, marriage to Hannah Horsley, at St. Botolph without Aldersgate, London, during the reign of King George 111, known as "Farmer George", 1760 - 1820. 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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