Recorded as Midel, Middle, Middell, and the residential Midlar and Middler, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname. If English it is locational either from a place called Middle in the county of Salop or Shropshire, or from one the many places in the country which has Middle as its prefix. The place name and hence the surname does literally mean 'in the middle', the village of Middle being so named because it was originally between two rivers. The original spelling was 'Myp leah' and is the basis of the place name Middle wherever found. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homesteads and moved somewhere else. Middler however is Scottish. It is still locational, but from Midlar, a hamlet in the parish of Loechel-Cushnie in the county of Aberdeenshire. The surname, although internationally known through the American entertainer Bette Middler, is quite rare. The first recording of the name in Scotland is that of Marjorie Midlar in 1613, at a place called Raneistoune, believed to be in Aberdeenshire. The earliest recording in any spelling is that of Ricard de Mide. This is in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of Oxfordshire, England, in the year 1273.
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