This unusual name is habitational and/or job descriptive for one who lived or worked on 'The Meadows'. In some cases the ending of the name in 'us' can imply a shortening of the original Old English 'hus' (now house), from 'Mede-hus', the house on the meadow, but usually with 'Meadus', it is a localised variant spelling caused by dialect and predominant in the south coast region. Henry I'th Medewe is recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Worcester in 1280, whilst examples of the modern name include John Medus of Portsea in 1762, Jonathan Meadus of St. Thomas's, Portsmouth in 1775, and Lydia Mendus of Christchurch in 1804. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Medouse, which was dated February 9th 1566, christened at St. Giles Church, Cripplegate, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, '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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