An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014
Origins Available: English, German
Where did the English May family come from? What is the English May family crest and coat of arms? When did the May family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the May family history?The name May comes from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain after the Conquest of 1066. It was a name for a person born or baptized in the month of May. The name May is derived from the Old French word mai, which has cognates in the other European languages that were all derived from the Latin word Maius. This name was also a nickname for a person with a particularly sunny disposition or a person who had an anecdotal connection with the month of May. Often this connection would be the time that feudal obligations were owed. Nicknames, such as May, that described the time or season of the birth, baptism or conversion of the original bearer were frequently adopted in the medieval era. Additionally, numerous nicknames referred to various religious festivals, medieval name days, or the particular day of the week when feudal services were fulfilled.
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled May, Mai, Maye and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our May research. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1291, 1573, 1630, 1605, 1611, 1614, 1621, 1624, 1625, 1624, 1625, 1626, 1629, 1604, 1655, 1640, 1642, 1628, 1698, 1665, 1685, 1621, 1684, 1797 and are included under the topic Early May History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 133 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early May Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the May family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 173 words(12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name May or a variant listed above were:
May Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century
May Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century
May Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
The May Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The May Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 26 October 2014 at 15:31.
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