This uncommon surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from the parish and village of Maidwell south of Market Harborough in Northamptonshire. Recorded as "Medewelle" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Maidewell" in the 1198 Pipe Rolls of Northamptonshire; the place was so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century "maegden", maiden, Middle English "maid(en)", with "well(e)", well, spring, stream; "the maidens' spring". Locational surnames, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal variants subsequently gave rise to several variations on the original spelling of the name which, in the modern idiom, is found as Madewell, Madwell, Maidwell and Maydwell. On November 13th 1625, Edward, son of John and Alice Maidwell, was christened at Ashley, and on June 24th 1626, Thomas, another son of John and Alice (surname spelt "Maydwell"), was christened in the same place. A Coat of Arms granted to the Maydwell family in 1634 is a gold shield, on a red inescutcheon, a silver crescent within an orle of eight martlets of the second, the Crest being ten green bay leaves, four, three, two and one, emerging from a gold crown vallery, the rim changed with two red cinquefoils. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Judith Madewell, which was dated February 3rd 1500, marriage to William Dixon, in London, during the reign of King Henry V11, known as "Henry Tudor", 1485 - 1509. 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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