This is a locational surname which originated from a place in Kent now part of Sevenoaks, and called Medhurst Row, or from Meadhurst Hall, near Staines. The origin is Olde English pre 10th century a.d., and the translation is "the meadow (mede) in the valley (hyrst)". This style of surname called "locational" usually derived from a resident leaving his home village, and moving elsewhere. He, or sometimes her, then took (or was given) as his surname the name of his former village. As few could spell, and as dialects were both local and strong, this often produced some strange "sounds like" forms, although Medhurst seems to have avoided these corruptions. The surname has three forms Medhurst, Meadhurst and Medhust, and surprisingly for what is almost entirely a southern surname, the coat of arms was granted to the Medhurst of Kippax, in Yorkshire. These arms are quartered, 1st and 4th being a paly of six red and silver, on a gold canton a martlet, whilst 2nd and 3rd are green, a gold fesse charged with three lions rampant.Examples of the surname recording include Ann Medhust, christened at St Dunstans in the East, London, on December 2nd 1653, Thomas Meadhurst, a christening witness at the church of St Margarets, Westminster, on Christmas Day 1654. As "Christmas Day" was effectively "banned" under the puritan rule of the Cromwellian Commonwealth (1649 - 1660), presumably this was just "another" day in the church year. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Elizabeth Medhurst, which was dated December 1st, 1590, married Thomas Gate at St Margarets, Westminster, 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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