The name is most likely derived from the Old English "Mappa," but perhaps also from the Old
, where a Walter map was recorded in the "Charters of the Earldom of Hereford" between the years 1161 and1181.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Map research.Another 36 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1212 and 1406 are included under the topic Early Map History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Map family name include Mapes, Mappes, Map, Mapys and others.
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Map surname or a spelling variation of the name include: John Mapes, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1634 at age 21; Thomas Mapes, who came to Long Island in 1640; William Mapes, who arrived in Antigua in 1729 at age 17.