The surname of MEADOWS was a locational name 'the dweller at the meadow' from residence nearby. The names of habitation are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named habitations. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and in fact whole countries. As a general rule, the further someone travelled from his place of origin, the broader the designation. Someone who stayed at home might be known by the name of his farm or locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of the county or region from which he originated. The name was originally derived from the Old English word MOEDWE. Early records of the name mention Henry I'the Medewe, who was documented in the year 1280 in County Warwickshire, and Henry del Medue appears in 1283 in Derbyshire. Richard atte Medue was recorded in 1327 in County Sussex, and Robert Meadowe of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379, John Atte Medowe, rector of Mellon, County Norfolk in 1429. Baptised. William Meadowes, St. John the Baptist, London in the year 1689. Philip Lynall and Barbara Medowe were married at St. Dionis Backchurch, London in the year 1719. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. (Registered at Witnesham Hall and Great Bealings, County Suffolk. Earl Manvers represents the younger branch of the Meadows family). Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God. However much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error.
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