Recorded in many forms as shown below, this is a medieval English surnames. It originates from the term "maugh" pronounced muff, and a nickname for someone who was related by marriage to an important person. Recorded as Muff, Maugh, Moff, Mough, Mouth, Maw, Maufe, the diminutives Muffen, Muffin, Muffey, Muffett, Muffitt, and the rare patronymic Mufson, it is a development of the pre 7th century word "mage", meaning a female relative. However it is said that in the north of England the term was used for a brother-in-law, and it is certainly in the north that was its main epicentre in ancient times. The early development of the surname includes recordings such as William Mugh of Nottinghamshire in 1279, Robert Mouth of the same place in 1336, and William Maygh of Yorkshire in 1381. Examples of surname recordings taken from surviving church registers include Edward Muff, christened at St. Botolph's, Bishopgate, city of London, on April 1631, and the marriage of Sarah Muffin to William Crosland at Doncaster, Yorkshire, on January 6th 1772. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Mawe. This was dated 1275, in the Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1st of England and known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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