Recorded in a wide range of spellings which include Midas, Middas, Middes, Middiff, Middis, Middin, Midden, Middens, Middings, Midon, Middon, and no doubt others, this is an English surname. It is probably topographical and if so described a person who lived by the 'midden' in a village. A second possible origin is that it may have been occupational for somebody who worked at such a place. In ancient times when plumbing and drains were none existent, it was realised that it was necessary to provide for the health of a village by setting up a midden. This can best be described in modern terms as the local water treatment plant! As they say somebody had to do it, and it was one of the most important jobs of the medieval period. The spelling of the surname would suggest that over the centuries it has been gentrified to lose its original connotation. This is surprising as it was honest work, which effectively provided much of the compost for the fields. Early examples of the surname recording taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include Alice Middes at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on May 3rd 1608, Arabella Middas at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on January 28th 1669, and Ann Middiff, again at St Dunstans, but on August 1st 1768.
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