This Irish family of MADIGAN are a branch of the O'MADDENS who settled in Clare and Limerick at an early date. They are now numerous there. The name in Gaelic is O'MADAGAIN. They were one of the principal septs of the Ui Maine, and retained their lordship of the territory in East Galway even under the Norman de Burgo supremacy. A branch settled in County Kildare, where an English family of the name also settled. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The name is also spelt MADDON, O'MADDONS, MAIDEN and MAYDON. Early records of the name in England mention Richard Maydenemon, 1275, County Surrey. William Maideman was documented in 1327 Essex, and William Maideman appears in the year 1332. Alicia Martynmayden, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Johanna Mayden, 1379 ibid. Thomas Hyett married Jane Maiden at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1730. George Madin and Ann Harris were married at St. Mary, Aldermary, London in 1753. An eminent member of the name was Joseph Henry Maiden (1859-1925) the British born, Australian botanist. He was born in London, but emigrated to New South Wales in 1880, and became director of Sydney Botanic Garden and the government botanist. He published several works on Australian plants, notably 'The Forest Flora of New South Wales'.
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