This uncommon surname, having long associations with Kent, is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor, unrecorded, or now "lost" place believed to have been situated in Kent because of the high incidence of early surname recordings from that county. The component elements of the placename are the Olde English pre 7th Century "mapul", Middle English "mapel", maple, also forming the first element of Maplescombe, south east of Eynsford in Kent, and the Olde English "denn", pasture. "Denn", a widely occurring second element of placenames in the Kent and Sussex Weald district, generally indicated old pasture land. Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace (either voluntarily or otherwise) to settle elsewhere. One Stephen de Mapplisden was recorded in the 1273 Hundred Rolls of Kent, and on August 2nd 1545, Thomas Maplesden and Joanne Nyghtyngale were married at All Saints, Maidstone, Kent. A Coat of Arms granted to the Maplesden family depicts a silver cross formee fitchee on a black shield. Two arms embowed in armour proper sustaining on a gold staff, a red flag flotant to the sinister, emerging from an azure mural crown, forms the Crest. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Mapplesden, which was dated 1272, in the "Hundred Rolls of Kent", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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