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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Munn family come from? What is the English Munn family crest and coat of arms? When did the Munn family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Munn family history?

The history of the Munn family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Kent. The name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Moion, near St. Lo, Normandy.


Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Moyon, Moion, Mohun, Moyne, Munn, Munns, Munson, Munton, Mwn, Mun, Munds, Mouns, Muns, Munnes, Munnson, Munnsen, Munning and many more.

First found in Kent where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Maidstone in that shire. They were descended from Guillaume (William) de Moyon a Norman Baron whose seat was at the castle of Moion, near St. Lo in Normandy. William de Moyon received large grants of land in Somerset, the Lordship of Clehangre in Devon, and Sutton in Wiltshire. He also had grants in Kent. From William was descended the first Earl of Somerset, the Earls of Dorset and the Barons of Okehampton. Although the main stem of this very noble Norman family retained the various spellings of Munn or Munns, junior lines adopted the name Munson or Munnings.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Munn research. Another 275 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1390, 1603, 1642, 1625, 1626, 1595, 1641, 1620, 1665, 1616, 1684, 1571, 1641, 1645, 1692, 1681, 1685, 1689 and 1690 are included under the topic Early Munn History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 197 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Munn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Munn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Munn name or one of its variants:

Munn Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Holliberry Munn settled in Barbados in 1654
  • Margt Munn, who arrived in Virginia in 1663
  • Mathew Munn, who landed in Maryland in 1663

Munn Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Christian Munn, who landed in New York in 1740
  • Duncan Munn, who arrived in Virginia in 1776
  • Richard Munn, who arrived in Jamaica in 1795

Munn Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • William Munn, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • William Munn and his family arrived in New York in 1811
  • David Munn, aged 43, landed in New York in 1812
  • John Munn, aged 23, landed in Missouri in 1840
  • Peter Munn, aged 25, landed in New York, NY in 1848


  • Harold Warner Munn (1903-1981), American writer of fantasy, horror, and poetry
  • Olivia Munn (b. 1980), American actress, model, and television personality
  • John Calvin Munn (1906-1986), 8th Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and United States Naval Aviator
  • Clarence Lester "Biggie" Munn (1908-1975), American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator
  • Lisa Olivia Munn (b. 1980), American comedic actress and model
  • Allison Munn (b. 1974), American actress
  • Harold Warner Munn (1903-1981), American writer
  • Ralph W. Munn (1894-1975), American researcher and librarian, President of the American Library Association (1939-1940), recognized by the journal American Libraries as one of “100 of the most important leaders we had in the 20th century”
  • Wayne Munn (1896-1931), American professional wrestler and collegiate football player
  • William James Munn (1897-1989), English Royal Navy Rear Admiral



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Omnia vincit veritas
Motto Translation: Truth conquers all things.


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  1. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Munn Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Munn 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 13 October 2014 at 10:12.

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