What is the origin of the last name Mayes?

The last name Mayes is of English origin and is derived from the medieval given name "Matthew," which in turn comes from the Hebrew name "Matityahu," meaning "gift of Yahweh." Over time, the patronymic suffix "-s" was added, denoting "son of Matthew." Thus, Mayes ultimately signifies "son of Matthew," reflecting a genealogical link to an ancestor named Matthew.

Countries of origin for the last name Mayes

The last name MAYES is of English origin and is found primarily in the United States. It is believed to be a variant spelling of the surname MAY, which itself derives from the Middle English word “may,” meaning “maiden” or “young woman.” The surname Mayes is commonly used as both a given name and a last name, making it an example of a patronymic surname.

The popularity of the surname Mayes in the United States can be attributed to several factors. First, many individuals with the last name Mayes can trace their ancestry back to England, particularly the southern region. The English origin of the surname provides a historical and cultural connection to the past, which can be of great significance to individuals seeking to understand their genealogy.

Second, the migration of Mayes families from England to the United States over the centuries has contributed to the spread of the surname. The surname has become prominently associated with various regions in the United States, including the southern states such as Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas, where Mayes families were known to settle and establish their communities.

The meaning of the last name Mayes can be further explored through an analysis of its etymology. The variant spelling with the letter “s” at the end is likely a result of phonetic changes or regional dialects. It is important to note that surname spellings can vary widely over time and across different geographical areas, making genealogical research a complex and nuanced task.

Additionally, the surname Mayes may have evolved to its present form through various spelling changes, both intentional and unintentional. These changes could have been influenced by factors such as illiteracy, regional accents, or clerical errors in official documents. It is common for surnames to exhibit multiple spelling variations, which adds further complexity to the study of last names.

In conclusion, the last name Mayes has a rich history and is primarily of English origin. It is a variant spelling of the surname May, which derives from the Middle English word “may.” The migration of Mayes families to the United States has led to its prominence in certain regions, particularly in the southern states. Further research into the genealogy and etymology of the last name Mayes can provide individuals with a deeper understanding of their ancestral roots and cultural heritage, while also highlighting the complexities involved in the study of last names.

Interesting facts about the last name Mayes

  • The surname Mayes is of English origin, derived from the old French word “maie,” meaning “maid” or “female relative.”
  • It is believed that the Mayes surname originated as a nickname, given to someone who was knowledgeable in herbal remedies or had healing abilities, as “maie” also referred to a certain type of medicinal herb in the Middle Ages.
  • The Mayes surname has various spellings, such as Mays, Meyes, Mees, Maeys, and Mayse, which can make genealogical research challenging.
  • The name Mayes can be found throughout the English-speaking world, with notable concentrations in the United States, Canada, Australia, and England.
  • Mayes is a relatively common surname, ranking among the top 2000 surnames in the United States.
  • Notable individuals with the Mayes surname include athletes, musicians, politicians, and authors, contributing to various fields of interest.
  • The Mayes surname has been passed down through generations, signifying the importance of family and ancestry for those who bear the name.
  • Mayes is a surname that has cultural significance in different regions and communities, representing a diverse range of histories and traditions.
  • The meaning and significance of the Mayes surname may have evolved over time, reflecting the changing social and cultural contexts in which it was used.

Name Rank


There are around 25256 people with the last name Mayes in the US

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