This name, recorded in London church registers from the early 17th Century under the variant spellings Mowdy, Mowdie and Moudey, is a late development of the name Moodey itself coming from the Old English pre 7th Century "modig" meaning "bold, impetuous or brave", and originally given as a nickname to one possessing these qualities. The surname was initially recorded at the beginning of the 12th Century, (see below). Other early recordings include: Godric Modi circa 1150 "Documents relating to the Danelaw", Notinghamshire, William Mudy, a Scottish merchant, who was granted a safe conduct to visit England in 1365, and Thome Mwdy, landholder in Brechin, (1461). On April 12th 1605, Eska Mowdy and Robert Lewes were married in St. Dunstan's Stepney, London. Alice Modie married a Christopher Dowsett in St. Mary Somerset, Putney, on April 25th 1628, and Joseph Mowday, an infant, was christened in Putney on August 20th 1654. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Alwine Modi, which was dated circa 1100 - 1130, "The Old English Byname Register", during the reign of King Henry 1, "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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