This most unusual name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and a locational surname deriving from the place called Munslow in Shropshire. The placename is first recorded in 1110 as "Mulslaye", in the 1187 Pipe Rolls of the county, as "Mulselawa", and as "Munceloue" in the 1261 Patent Rolls. The name means "Mundel's hill or mound", from the Olde English pre 7th Century personal name "Mundel", a diminutive form of any of the various compound names with "mund", protection, as the first element, and "hlaw, hlaew", low hill, mound. In placenames the meaning of "hlaw" ranges from mound, burial-mound, to hill or mountain. The placename Munsley, in Herefordshire, also contains the given name "Mundel". Locational surnames were acquired especially by those former inhabitants of a place who had moved to another area, usually in search of work, and were thereafter best identified by the name of their birthplace. Shropshire Church Registers record the christening of John Munslow on June 13th 1589, at Uffington, and the marriage of Jonathan Munslow and Elizabeth Bullock in Condover on December 4th 1622. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Mounslowe, which was dated February 2nd 1538, witness at the christening of his son, Edward, at Shipton, Shropshire, during the reign of King Henry V111, known as "Bluff King Hal", 1509 - 1547. 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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