This is a locational name which is believed to derive from the Olde English 'Macca's Stede' which translates as Macca's Farm, with 'Macca' being an early pre 7th Century personal name which probably derives from 'mearc' meaning 'a boundary'. A place called 'Maxstoke' which also translates as 'Macca's place' exists in Warwickshire and it is possible that the surname is a dialectual transposition from this source or more likely from a now 'lost' medieval village cleared either by plague, famine or for sheep farming. The name is well recorded from the 17th Century under a variety of spellings including Alice Maxstead who married John Clarke at St. James Church, Dukes Place, London on October 21st, 1685. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Annie Moxted, which was dated April 23rd 1674, who married John Boniface at St. Mary le Bone, London, during the reign of King Charles 11, known as"The Merry Monarch", 1660 - 1685. 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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