It was originally thought that Madgwick was another variant of the ancient Devon locational surname Moggridge or Moggeridge, however this is not so. Madgwick derives from the Olde English 'muda-wic' which translates as 'the farm at the estuary or (possibly) the meeting of the streams'. What is certain is that no such place is now recorded, and therefore it has to be assumed that the original place is one of the five thousand or so 'lost' medieval villages of which the modern surname is the only reminder.The concentration of original church recordings suggests that the original hamlet was in the Sussex - Hampshire area, but of this we have no other proof. It can however be shown that this type of locational name is and was prominent in the area, examples being Gatwick, (the goat farm), and Cheswick (the cheese farm) being just two of many hamlets. We also believe that the village was probably known as 'Madgeweeke' as this spelling occurrs regularly in early surname recordings, but given the lack of education in the 16th century, this is conjecture. Recordings include Thomas Madgwick who married Ane Bremor (as spelt) at the church of St Mary Magdalene, Old Fish Street, London on April 1st 1627, and James Medgwick, christened at St Lawrence Jewry, London, on April 9th 1658, in the last year of the 'reign' of Oliver Cromwell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Agnes Madgewike, which was dated July 18th 1573, who was christened at Harting, Sussex, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "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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