Recorded in many forms including Manbb, Mabbs, Mapp, Maps, Mapes, Mapis, Mayps, Maypes, and probably others, this is an English surname. It is a nickname form of the female given name Mabel, itself from the Latin "amabilis" meaning loveable. In Middle English and Old French the name appeared as Amabel, with the pet form Mabilie being widely recorded in 12th Century documents. One Rogerus filius Mabilie being recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Northumberland in the year 1130. Other early examples of the surname recording include Arnaldus Mabilie, in the Knight Templar (Crusader) rolls for the county of Essex, dated 1185, whilst John Mabb is recorded in the Calendar of Letter Books for London, under the date 1278. The surname(s) as shown above with the "b" sharpened to a "p" are particularly well recorded in London Church Registers from the late 16th Century: These include on November 28th 1582, Mary Mape and George Stonestreet who were married at St. Botolph's, Bishopsgate, and on February 23rd 1625, Amy Mapp, who infant, was christened at St. Dunstan's, Stepney. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter Mapes, the canon of St. Paul's Cathedral, and dated 1200. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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