This is a locational name 'at the middle hurst'. A name which was originally given to one in residence amidst trees. The name derives from the Olde English 'mid' meaning 'middle' and 'hurst' - a wooded hill or grove. The surname is first recorded at the beginning of the 17th century. In the modern idiom it has three spelling variations: Middlehurst, Midhurst and Medhurst. The surname Middlewood or Midwood occurs with this group. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alice Middlehurst, of Grappenhall which was dated 1610 Wills Records at Chester during the reign of King James 1 The House of Stuart 1603-1625 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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