Recorded originally as Maidstone, and now apparently more usually as the dialectals Mayston or Maystone, this is an English surname. It is locational and certainly from the town of Maidstone in the county of Kent, a place first recorded at the very beginnings of English history in the 7th century a.d. as "Maeidesstona". It is one of those place names and surnames which cause flutterings amongst faint hearted researchers and quite often their readers because it might have pagan associations. That in turn could bring the suggestion of certain practices such as sacrifices, and as they used to say "A fate worse than death," that is assuming that whatever was practised did not involve death! It is so long ago that we have no real idea why a place should be called "Maiden Stone." The spelling as Mayston or Maystone is probably a relic of an ancient language called Kent-Sussex, which has died out, to be largely replaced by the South London accent, of which the less said the better. Locational surnames are usually "from" names, and this name is no exception being recorded in the city of London in medieval times with that of Johannes de Maydston in the Curia Regis rolls of 1221. More recent examples include Robert Maidstone at St Antholins church in 1690, and Charles Mayston who was buried at the same church in 1702.
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