This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian origin. It is locational from a 'lost' medieval English village believed to have been in the county of Lincolnshire where most early recordings are to be found. An estimated five thousand villages and hamlets have disappeared from gazetters of the British Isles over the last five centuries, so whilst still unusual, it is not an uncommon phenomena. The main cause of these "disappearances" were changes in agricultural practices, although natural causes such as the various national plagues between the Black Death of 1348 upto the Bubonic Plague of 1665, also made major contributions. The component elements are the Olde English pre 7th century word "mapul" meaning maple, plus the Scandinavian "toft," a homestead or field. Early recordings from the church registers of Kesteven in Lincolnshire include: the christening of Agnis, daughter of Thomas Mapletoft, on June 1st 1563; and the christening of William, the son of William Mapletoft, on November 12th 1566. The first recorded spelling in the church registers may be that of of Richard Mapletoft. This was dated October 16th 1545, at Fenton, in Lincolnshire, during the reign of King Henry V111th of England, 1509 - 1547. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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