Recorded in several forms including Milstead, Millsted, and Millstead, this is an English surname. It originates from the village of Milsted in the county of Kent. Accoring to Ekwalls famous book 'English Place Names' the name derives not from the Olde English pre 7th ccentury 'mylen-stede' or the place of the mill, but from 'middel-stede' meaning the middle place, although just what Milsted is the 'middle of' is unclear. Locational surnames are usually 'from' names. That is to say that they were used to identify strangers, who had arrived from somewhere else. It was an easy system but one which given the erratic nature of spelling and the fact that local accents and dialects were very thick, often lead to the creation of 'sounds like' spellings of the surname, as indeed with this name. Milsted (village) was actually recorded as 'Middel-stede' in the year 1226, but thereafter seems to have slipped back into the original form of (nearly) 'Milstede' used around the begining of the Millenium, and at the time of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The surname is much later. Recording taken from surviving church registers of Kent for the period include: Ann Milstead, christened at Margate, on September 28th 1600, Samuel Millstead, a witness at Little Chart, on August 30th 1630, and Daniel Milstead, who married Mary Everden at Tenterden, on April 8th 1746.
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