Recorded as Mildenhall, Meldonhall, Mandenhall, Mendenhall, Mindenhall and possibly others, this is an English locational surname. It almost certainly originates from either of two places called Mildenhall, one in Suffolk and the other in Wiltshire. The former, recorded as "Mildenhale" in the famous Anglo-Saxon Chronicles of 1050, and as "Mitdenehall" in the Domesday Book of 1086. It derives its name from the Olde English pre 7th Century "aet Middelan hale", meaning "at the middle halh", with halh translating as a secret place! The place in Wiltshire is recorded as "Mildanhald" in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, dated 803 a.d, and as "Midenhalle" in the Domesday Book of 1086. It means "Milda's valley", with Milda being an early female personal name. Early examples of recordings taken from surviving church registers include that on October 26th 1628 of Danyel Mildenhall, who was christened at the church of St. Peter and St. Paul's, Marlborough, Wiltshire, Sarah Mindenhall who married Ben Gaskin at St Georges chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, on April 2nd 1810, and another Sarah but this time spelt Mendenhall, who married Henry Bailey at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on February 1st 1846. Perhaps the first recorded spelling of the family name is that of Francis Mildenhall. This was dated 1588, at Ramsbury, Wiltshire, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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