This is an English surname. Recorded in various spellings including Mackstead, Maxsted and Maxstead, it is a locational surname from a now "lost" medieval village. Some five thousand British Isles surnames originate from "lost" places, of which the only surviving public memory in the 20th century is the surviving surname. However spelt it is believed to derive from the pre 7th century Olde English words "Macca's Stede", which translates as Macca's Farm, with Macca being an early personal name. It probably derives from the ancient word "mearc," meaning a boundary post or stone. A place called Maxstoke, which also translates as "Macca's place" exists in the county of Warwickshire and it is possible that the existing surname is a dialectual transposition from this source. The surname is well recorded from the 17th century under a variety of spellings including: Alice Maxstead, who married John Clarke at St. James church, Dukes Place, city of London, on October 21st, 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Annie Moxted. This was dated April 23rd 1674, when she married John Boniface at St. Mary le Bone, also city of London, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as "The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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