Recorded in many spellings including Manlow, Manilow, Manilo, Manlove, Menlove and Menlow, this interesting surname is English. It is baptismal and derives from the pre 7th century Olde English 'Mann-leof', a compound name whose elements translate as 'Dear-friend', with 'leof' meaning dear, and 'mann', a friend. These English compound personal surnames came after the Roman occupation which finished in the 5th century a.d., and pre-dated surnames by many centuries. In fact surnames did not come into common usage until after the year 1300, and even then were not hereditary for many people. This name is unusual in that it 'survived' the Norman Conquest of 1066, after which date it became 'politically correct' to use French names such as William, John, and Richard. The development of 'Mann-leof' as a surname is obscure. It seems to have been first recorded as Maneflow, Manilo and Monilow, and there is certainly some Huguenot influence in the 18th century which may have helped to create the later Manlove and Manlow. Examples of the recordings taken from authentic London church registers include Alice Manilo at St Andrews, Holborn, on February 18th 1565, and George Monilow at St Lawrence Jewry on July 19th 1582. Nathaniel Manlove was recorded at St Johns, Hackney, on July 10th 1699, whilst on April 29th 1866 Arthur Manlow was a witness at Friern Barnet, Middlesex. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anthony Maneflow, which was dated February 20th 1561, at St Andrews church, Holborn, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st, known as 'Good Queen Bess', 1558 - 1603. 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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