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Maple Name Study

Privacy Level: Public (Green)
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Surnames/tags: Maple Mapel
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Distribution of the Maple surname

It has been estimated that 7680 people bearing the Maple surname lived in the United Kingdom, the United States, and other former British colonies in 2014.[1] A large majority of these (over 80%) lived in the United States. Also in the United States were an additional 815 people using the Mapel spelling of the name, so the U.S. was home for over 82% of the Maple/Mapels in the English-speaking world.
The Maple surname has been present in England as far back as the 13th century. In the 1851 Census of England and Wales, 225 Maples were enumerated, mostly in the southeast of England -- the highest concentration was in Kent (82).
It is believed that most American Maple/Mapels (generally unrelated to the Maples) are descendants of a single man (Benjamin Maple Sr) who was present in the colony of West Jersey by 1692. Some think (but it is not certain) that this was the same Benjamin Maple of Ipswich, England, who in 1684 signed a contract for 4 years of servitude in Barbados.
It should be noted that among Maples enumerated in the 1940 U.S. Census, about 5% were African-Americans, apparently unrelated to Benjamin Maple (see Maple Surname in the 1940 US Census).
Maples are also found in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and we would like to learn more about the histories of these families.

Origins of the Maple surname

The Maple surname is generally thought to be an Anglo-Saxon locative name (meaning one who lives near Maple trees) that originated in England. One early example is Robert atte Mapele, who lived in Essex in 1285 AD.
Recent Y-DNA studies, however, have shown that the Maple families of the United States share distant paternal ancestry with Mapley familes that lived in Buckinghamshire, England in the 18th century. Mapley is thought to be a variant of the Mabley/Mable surnames of Norman origin, possible related to the Old French surname Mabile. One early English example is Rogerus fillius Mabilie, who lived in Northamptonshire in 1130 AD.[2]
So it seems that the Maple line of America may not be named for a tree after all! Current DNA evidence suggests that the American Maples are not related to the Maples of Kent.[3] Possible relationships between the Maple, Mable, Mabley, and Mabile surnames are the subject of ongoing Y-DNA studies.[4]


  2. Entry for Northamptonshire in the 1130 AD Pipe Roll - MAGNUM ROTULUM SCACCARII, VEL MAGNUM ROTULUM PIPE, DE ANNO TRICESIMO- PRIMO REGNI HENRICI PRIMI, printed by command of His Majesty King William IV (1833), page 83:
    Roger⁹ fiɫ Mabilię . redđ Cōpot̃ . de .xj . ɫi . 7 .xiij . ṡ̃. 7.iiij . đ. ᵱ t̄ra patis sui . In thauro .x . m̃. arg̃. Et deᵬ .c . ṡ̃.

Goals of the Project

The goal of this project is to connect all Maples to the human family tree. Of course, we will never be able to create a complete genealogy, but where historical data is lacking, we hope to define relationships between different Maple branches through Y-DNA testing. Specific questions include:
Are the descendants of Benjamin Maple Sr. related to the Maples of Kent, England? How many Maple lines can we define?
Were the patrilineal ancestors of these MAPLE lines Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, Norman, or something else?
Can we find relationships between MAPLEs and other surnames such as MABLE, MABLEY, MABILE, and MAPLESDEN?

How you can contribute to the project

1. If you have information on anyone with the Maple, Mapel, Mable, Mabel, Mapley, Mabley, Mabile, or Maplesden surnames, please enter it into WikiTree, or send it to the project administrator: Bruce Maple.
2. If you are a male with any of these surnames, please consider Y-DNA testing at Family Tree DNA. Current Y-DNA technology is enabling us to create a patrilineal family tree for all of humanity, and this could help us to find relationships between various Maple-like surnames. Participation does not require divulging any private information, and the Maple Surname Y-DNA Project has some funds available for free testing. Contact Bruce Maple for more information. ( You can send a private message to Bruce by clicking here.)
3. If you like, you can officially join the project and create your own research page:
Join the project by adding the ONS Member Sticker to your profile:
... ... ... is a member of the Maple Name Study Project.
Contact the Name Study Coordinator: Bruce Maple for assistance with starting a new research page.

Research Pages

See the following pages for more information:

In Search of the Real David Maple Jr - the history of some misinformation about the Maple family tree.
Maple DNA - A summary of DNA findings pertaining to the Maple family tree,
Maple Origins - Where did the Maple family originate?
MAPLE/MAPLEY Y-DNA Haplogroups - for information on how you can help us learn more about the origins of the Maple surname in England and help to determine the path by which the patrilineal ancestors of the Maples migrated through Europe into England.
Maple Migrations - Evidence pertaining to the migration of Maple families from New Jersey to Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Maple Census Index - Find Maple Wikitree profiles from early US Census entries.
Maple surname in the 1940 US Census - an attempt to attach all Maple males enumerated in 1940 to the WikiTree.
Mapletown, New Jersey - a place where the early Maple families of America lived.
Origins of the Mabile Surname - Did the Maple surname come from the Norman name Mabile?

Most distant ancestors for known Maple lines

For a list of profiles in the Maple Name Study, see Category: Maple Name Study


Bruce Maple

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Comments: 1

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This is such a wonderful study page! As I was checking out the profile of Benjamin Maple, I noticed that Elizabeth Lee was his wife. Lee is treated like a middle name, but Lee is a surname you will find in that area of Ohio. Are we sure that My husband's Kellogg ancestor, Hiram Kellogg had a daughter Christina who married a Richard Lee from the Salineville area (That whole area went through a dramatic change of county lines during the 1800's starting with Columbiana county and 5 other surrounding counties. In fact, Carroll, the final county was created from the four surrounding counties and placed in the center of them in 1832. ) So I believe Lee was a not only a historical name in the area, but, may have had it's connections to the Maples as well
posted on Maple Surname Study (merged) by Deborah (Shutek) Jackson (1957-2017)

Categories: Maple Name Study