Membrey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The history of the Membrey family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Northumberland. The name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Montbrai, in La Manche, Normandy. However, another source claims the family claim descent from "the ancient barony of Mowbray, called by Odericus Vitalis Molbraium, [which] was identical with the village of Monbrai, in the canton or Perci, an arrondissement of St. Lo in Normandy." 
Early Origins of the Membrey family
The surname Membrey was first found in Northumberland Geoffrey de Montbray (d. 1093,) bishop of Coutances was a warrior, administrator and close assistant of William the Conqueror.
After the death of William, Geoffrey settled in Bristol, (as listed in the Domesday Book) where he built a strong castle but frequently feuded with William II." A strong castle was erected [at Thirsk in the North Riding of Yorkshire] about 979 by the family of Mowbray, where Roger de Mowbray in the time of Henry II., having become a confederate of the King of Scotland, erected his standard against his lawful sovereign: upon the suppression of the revolt, this fortress, with many others, was entirely demolished by order of the king."  The same Roger de Mowbray also held Bambrough Castle in Northumberland. "After the Norman Conquest it was held by Robert de Mowbray, on whose insurrection against William Rufus it was besieged, and, after an obstinate defence, surrendered to that monarch, who threatened, unless it were given up, to put out the eyes of Mowbray, who had been taken prisoner." 
The markettown and parish of Kirby-Malzeard in the West Riding of Yorkshire was another ancient family seat. "This place was the property of the Mowbray family, afterwards dukes of Norfolk, whose castle here was demolished in the reign of Henry II., and one of whom, John de Mowbray, obtained for the inhabitants in the reign of Edward I. a charter for a weekly market and two annual fairs." 
Important Dates for the Membrey family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Membrey research. Another 209 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1297, 1366, 1399, 1377, 1396, 1444, 1476, 1475, 1225, 1314, 1365, 1399, 1397, 1385, 1405 and 1405 are included under the topic Early Membrey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Membrey Spelling Variations
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 Mowbray, Moubray, Mowbrey, Moubrey and others.
Early Notables of the Membrey family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Mowbray (1365-1399), an English nobleman, created 1st Duke of Norfolk in 1397, by King Richard II of England; and Thomas de Mowbray (1385-1405), 4th Earl of Norfolk, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 8th Baron Segrave, 7th Baron Mowbray, English nobleman and rebel, after death of father, allowed to succeed him as Earl of Norfolk and Nottingham. He received his father's...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Membrey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Membrey family
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 Membrey name or one of its variants: Thomas Moubray, who came to West Indies in 1678; William and Hannah Mowbury, who arrived in North Carolina in 1680; William Moubray, who settled in Maryland in 1716.
Contemporary Notables of the name Membrey (post 1700)
- Tim Membrey (b. 1994), Australian rules footballer
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- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.