This interesting surname has no less than four origins. It can be derived from the Middle English female given name 'Ma(ha)lt, Mau(l)d, a variant of the Norman name Mathilde composed of the Germanic elements 'maht' meaning 'might' or 'strength' plus 'hild' 'battle, or, from a medieval given name from the Old English 'Mul', 'mule' which can be used as a nickname for a stubborn person or an occupational name for a driver of pack animals. It can also be derived from a medieval female given name Mulle, a petform of Mary from the Aramaic Maryan a compound of 'mar' meaning 'drop' plus 'yam', 'sea'. Finally it can be a nickname for a bald man from the Middle English 'mould' (Old English 'molda') meaning 'top of the head'. The name dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). The final "s" indicates either the patronymic or metronymic form of the surname. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Moles, Mols, Mouls, etc. One Peter, son of Adam Moules, was christened at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London on August 17th 1605. James Moules married Ann Frankham at St. James, Westminster, on December 15th 1763 and Mary Ann, daughter of James and Judith Moules, was christened on June 23rd 1806 at St. Mary Magdalene, Bermondsey. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of David le Mul, which was dated 1199, 'The Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire', during the reign of King John, 'Lackland', 1199 - 1216. 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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