This surname of MIDDAUGH is a Dutch surname composed of the elements MIDDEN (middle) + DORF (village). It is an occupational name for someone who lived in the middle of a manor, village or settlement. The name is also spelt MIDDEN, MIDENDORFE and MIDORF. This was a topographic name for someone who lived and worked in a manor by a pen or fold where animals were confined. A manor, during the middle ages, may have had two or three hundred people living there, most of whom worked in various parts of the manor to produce their food. The manor would be owned by the king or an important noble, or by a religious house or even a freeman. The tenants would have been of three kinds, the freeholders who worked substantial land for which they paid a money rent which freed them of most, but not all, services to the lord, the villeins or serfs who cultivated about thirty acres for which they worked for the lord two or three days a week, and the cotters who held smaller plots and worked shorter periods for the lord of the manor. In the centre of the manor would be the hall, the principal residence of the lord of the manor and the church would be nearby. Around these two important building would be crude houses or cottages of the inhabitants. As overseers usually enjoyed a higher rank, these occupations first appeared recorded in official documents, and tended to become hereditary family names which have continued to this day. The Dutch language is most closely related to Low German, and its surnames have been influenced both by German and French naming practices. The preposition 'van' is found especially with habitation names, and the 'de' mainly with nicknames. Compared to other countries, Dutch heraldry is notably simpler, some of the shields bearing only a single charge. Generally speaking one helmet, one shield and one crest has been used, quartering is uncommon and mottoes are rare.
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