This unusual surname has two probable origins. The first is as a developed form of the Olde English personal name of the pre 10th Century "Mawa", plus the suffix "-man", to indicate a friend or kinsman of Mawa. The second possibility is also Olde English, and job-descriptive from "mawan". This translates literally as one who mows (grass and corn), and describes an early form of agricultural contractor. There are a number of spelling forms including Mowman, Mumen and Mayman, and early recording examples include: John Mawman, who married Elizabeth Reynolds at St.James' Church, Duke's Place, London, on September 14th 1680, whilst on September 3rd 1854, we have the unusual recording of John Mawman, who married Margaret Mawman at St. Giles' Church, Cripplegate, also in London. A different spelling form appears in Hampshire, when on October 20th 1699, we have the recording of William Mewman, who married Sarah Pierse at King's Worthy. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John le Mawere, which was dated 1225, a witness in the "Assize Court Rolls of Somerset (Taunton)", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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