Usually recorded in the modern spellings of Maudlen, Maudlin and Maudling, this is an English surname. It was introduced into England either by the Norman-French invaders of 1066, or more likely a century or so later when the Knight Templars or Crusaders, began to return home from their self appointed task of freeing the Holy Land, and particularly Jerusalem, from the hands of the Muslim. In all twelve expeditions were sent out at various times, and all failed, but this did not stop the growing enthusiasm of the participants for the introduction back into Europe of Biblical persoanl names.This is a good example, since it is also associated with the Virgin Mary, and therefore had special significance during the religious revival of the 12th century. The derivation is from the the Hebrew female name 'Magdalen,' which translates literally as 'a woman from the town of Magdala', and as a surname it is a metronymic or a name from a mother rather than a father. Metronymics are rarer than patronymics, but still form a substantial group within the surname listings. In this case the earliest example is probably that of Simon Maudeleyn of Oxford in the Hundred Rolls of landowners in 1279, and later that of John Maudelyne of York in the Friary Rolls of 1368.
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