This surname of Scottish origin is a locational name from 'lie Middlemasses' in Kelso, a district in the Border region deriving from the Northern Middle English 'middlemast' meaning 'middlemost'. It is also suggested that it may be a nickname or a baptismal name for someone born at a particular time of the year, in this case Michaelmas the feast of St. Michael (29th September) The name dates back to the late 15th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one William Myddilmast, vicar of Lynton (1439) 'Peeples' and John Myddilmest witnessed a charter by Robert, abbot of Kelso in 1497. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Middlemass, Middlemass, Middlemiss, Middlemost, Midlemas, Middlemas, etc.. One James, son of Thomas Middlemass was christened on October 25th 1663 at Alnwick, Northumberland. Elizabeth Midlemess was christened at Edinburgh on July 27th 1673 and Thomas Middlemist married Ann Yewbanck at St. Mary, St. Marylebone Road, London on May 25th 1688. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Meldiemast, abbot of Kelso, which was dated 1406, 'The Papal Register relating to Great Britain and Ireland', during the reign of King James 1 of Scotland, 1406 - 1437. 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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