This interesting name is of pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon origins. Recorded as Mustoe, Musto, Mustow and Mustoo, these are all topographical surnames for someone who lived near a 'moot or mote-stow'. This was usually a piece of open ground used as a meeting-place. The derivation is from the Old English word 'gemot' meaning a meeting or assembly, and 'stow', a place or site. A moot stow, was the official title for the meeting-place of a 'Hundred'. This was an ancient division of a county or shire, into populations of one hundred landowners or freemen, which held their own court to decide local problems. Early examples of the surname recording include John Mustoe who married Mary Adames on September 19th 1588 at St. Andrew's Enfield, in the county of Middlesex, and William, the son of Anthony and Margaret Musto, who was christened at St. Mary's Whitechapel, city of London, on June 14th 1719. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ralph atte Mustowe. This was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Tax Rolls of the county of Sussex, during the reign of King Edward 111rd of England, 1327 - 1377. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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