This interesting surname of English origin, with spellings of Meakin, Meaking, Makin, Meaken, Meeking, etc., is either a diminutive of May, which itself is a pet form of Matthew, from the middle English given name Mathew, coming from the hebrew male given name Matityahu meaning "gift of God", or a nickname for a "little" maid deriving from the middle English maid(en) meaning "girl", "young woman", plus the diminutive suffix "kin". The surname dates back to the early 14th Century (see below). Further recordings include Jeva Maydeleyng (1327), "The Subsidy Rolls of Cambridgeshire", and John Mayleyn (1362) of Gloucestershire, recorded in the Calendar of Letter Books of the city of London.London church recordings include one Elizabeth, daughter of Ralph Mekyne, who was christened on September 12th 1541 at St. Dionis Backchurch, George Meakin who married Isabell Dormer, on June 30th 1611 in Tottenham, and one John Meaken, a famine emigrant who sailed from Liverpool aboard the Ceylon bound for New York on June 1st 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Peter Maykyn, which was dated 1318, "The Feet of Fines of Essex", during the reign of King Edward 11, "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as 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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