Recorded as Mudle and Muddle, this is an English medieval surname. It has nothing to do with chaos, but is a dialectal variant of middle, and has two possible origins. Firstly it may be locational from either a place in Shropshire called Myddle or in Sussex called Muddles Green, from the Olde English pre 7th Century "gemythleah", meaning the wood at the junction of two streams. Recorded in the Antiquities of Shropshire in 1121 Myddle appears as Muthla' and in the Fees Records in Shropshire in 1242 as Mundle, however it may also be a topographical name for a person who lived in the 'middle', either house, field of farm, and is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'midel', middle. Two early recordings of name bearers in London are Richard Mudle who married Margerit Watson on 27th November 1568 at St. Stephen Walbrook and Richard Muddle who was christened at the same church on 17th June 1582. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard le Midel. This was dated 1279, in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Edward Ist and known as the the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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