This unusual and interesting name has two possible origins, the first and most likely being from the Norman nickname for a very "male", masculine man, from the Olde French word "masle". In Middle English the word became "male", meaning virile, masculine. The second possible origin is from a German nickname for someone with a reputation for talking or perhaps eating excessively, derived from the German "maul", meaning "mouth". The -s on the end indicates a patronymic name i.e. "son of." The surname development has included Stephen Male (1230, Essex) and Robert Mayle (1607, London). Alce Mailes married Philemon Bragge on August 11th 1633 at St. Luke's, Chelsea, London. The christening of Sarah, daughter of Thomas Maile, was recorded at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1735. Richard Mayles married Martha Maria Wesson on April 21st 1794 at St. Marylebone, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert le Masle, which was dated 1187, The Berkshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry 11, The Builder of Churches, 1154 - 1189. 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.