Recorded in the spellings of Maple, Mapples, Marple, Marples, and Maypole, this is an English surname. According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley, the surname is from Yorkshire, and not in anyway associated with the small town of Marples in Cheshire. He states that the surname describes one who was resident 'at the maples' and as such refers to a wood or copse of maple trees. Later research does suggest that whilst the majority of the surname holders probably do originate from Yorkshire as Thomas de Mapple is recorded in the city of York, and Johannes and Willelmus de Mapples in the town of Rotherham, all in the infamous Poll Tax rolls for the year 1379. However we differ from Canon Bardsley in having access to better records, and in our opinion the spelling as Marple or Marples may for some nameholders at least, have originated from the town name. It was the custom from the earliest times of the formation of hereditary surnames in the 14th century for people who had left their original homesteads, to be named after that village or town. Marple (town) is first recorded in 1248 in the spelling of Merpel. This suggests a meaning of the place on the hill overlooking the (River) Mersey. Examples of later recordings include Robtus Maple at St Andrews church, Enfield, Middlesex, on August 27th 1564, and Johannis Marples at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on March 8th 1673.
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