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Malson Coat of Arms / Malson Family Crest

Malson Coat of Arms / Malson Family Crest

The surname of MALSON was a Low German baptismal name meaning 'the son of Matilda'. It was composed of the elements 'maht' meaning mighty, and 'hild' meaning strength. The name was borne in England by the daughter of Henry I who disputed the throne of England with her cousin Stephen for a number of years (1137-48). In Germany the popularity of the name in the Middle Ages was augmented by its being borne by a 10th century saint, the wife of Henry Fowler and mother of Otto the Great. The name has many variant spellings which include MAHEUT, MECHTILD, METTKE, MEHEU and MAHEUT. The first hereditary surnames on German soil are found in the second half of the 12th century, slightly later than in England and France. However, it was not until the 16th century that they became stabilized. The practice of adopting hereditary surnames began in the southern areas of Germany, and gradually spread northwards during the Middle Ages. Early records of the name mention Robert Mowlde and Alice James who married in London in the year 1566. John Moule of County Worcestershire, registered at Oxford University in 1584. Surnames as we recognise them today are believed to have been introduced by the Normans after the Invasion of 1066. The first mention of such names appears in the Domesday Book and they were progressively adopted between the 11th and 15th centuries. It was the nobles and upper classes who first assumed a second name, setting them apart from the common people who continued to use only the single name given to them at birth. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that is became common practice to use a secondary name, originally a name reflecting the place of birth, a nickname, an occupational name or a baptismal name which had been passed on from a parent to the child, as an additional means of identification. 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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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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