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Maslen Genealogy and Maslen Family History Information

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About the Maslen surname

Seems to have originated in the west country of UK- Wiltshire, especially, Devon. Today, this is still the area of the greatest concentration of Maslen surnames. However,variant spellings existed in London from the mid 1600s, possibly taken there by WIltshire agricultural labourers seeking to make a living in the city when land enclosures, and other changes to agriculture, dispossessed them of any right or means to live in the countryside. There seems to have been another influx of Maslens into London when the creation of the railways and the resulting economic growth there attracted another influx of rural poor seeking work opportunities. Outside of the west country and the greater London area the name remains rare even today, although it occurs in the USA and in Australia as a result of emigration in the 1800s. The name occurs also, as an isolated example, in a Suffolk taxation record of the 1300s. The person recorded is a servant to a local landed family. He may well have been taken there with the household of the local landowner who may have had other land holdings in the west of England. It is found once in the abbey records of St Benet of Holme, before the dissolution of that monastic house. In UK records it has a number of spellings; Maslen, Maslin, Maslyn(e), Masselyn, Mazlyn for example. There seems to be a Maschellein variant in Belgium and others in Germany. Generally thought to be possibly derived from 1)the occupational name of makers of maple wood bowls (mazelaine) 2) activities associated with the mixing of two grains together.(mescelin). 3) to be a derivative of the word ' mathal' which also gave rise to the Maskelyne group of surnames. Here it is supposed to mean something to do with the speaking of wisdom. It is variously given as derived from Old German or Old French.