Recorded as Maes, Meas, Mease, Mees, Meese, Meece, and possibly others, this is an English surname. It is almost certainly locational from Mease, a river in Leicestershire, two villages called Meece, as well as Meese Brook and Meeson, all places in the county of Staffordshire. However a number of researchers have suggested that it could be a form of the personal and surname Matthew and others from the personal and surname Bartholomew. Matthew was and remains, a highly popular medieval personal name of Hebrew origin, which was brought back to Europe from the Holy Land by returning Christian Crusader knights and pilgrims.It developed a number of variants of which May is the most popular and from this developed diminutives such as Makin and Meakin. Maes, Meas, Mee, Mees and others could be derivatives or vice versa. Batholomew may no longer be popular as a personal name, but is known to have developed over two hundred surname forms of which Mee, could be from Bartolomy. If locational the translation of the various place names is 'moss' from the pre 7th century Olde English 'meos'. The firsr recording is believed to be Richard del Mes in the Assize Rolls of Staffordshire in 1276.
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