This most interesting and unusual surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, derives from three possible sources. Firstly, it may be a diminutive from the Olde English personal name "Mawa", originally a nickname from the Olde English "maew", (sea)-mew, with the diminutive suffix "-in". Secondly, the name may derive from the Olde English "mage", Middle English "maugh, maw", a female relative, especially by marriage, plus the diminutive "-in", and was probably a nickname for someone who was related to an important local personality. Finally, it may have originated from the Olde English "mawe", a meadow, and "-in", a topographical name for "a dweller in or by a meadow". The personal name "Mauua" was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086, while William Mawe was mentioned in 1275 in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk. The surname is found widespread in Northumberland. Early examples of the surname include: the marriage of Agnes Mavin and Ricardo Wilson on July 1st 1584 at Morpeth, Northumberland; the christening of Margery Mavin on May 3rd 1635 at Woodhorn, Northumberland; and the marriage of Robert Mauvin and Jane Hedley on May 23rd 1678 at Ponteland, in Northumberland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Mary Maven, which was dated August 23rd 1571, marriage to Henry Osmond, in London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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