Maon History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
Cornwall, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Maon. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Maon family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Maon is a local type of surname and the Maon family lived in the village of Mawgan in Cornwall. The surname Maon is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area. In the Middle Ages people often assumed the name of the place that they originally lived as their surname during the course of travel.
Early Origins of the Maon family
The surname Maon was first found in Cornwall at St. Mawgan in Pydar or Mawgan. St. Mawgan claims its name from Mawgan, a Brythonic saint who flourished in the 5th or 6th century. Little is known about the saint and many believe that the saint is one in the same as Meugan who was listed as a saint about the same time in Wales. As far as the place name is concerned, the earliest record of the place was as "Sanctus Mawan" in the Domesday Book of 1086.  St Mawgan Monastery was an ancient monastery located here and was known to have been well established by the time of the Conquest. Mawgan-in-Meneage is a civil parish also found in Cornwall.
Early History of the Maon family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maon research. Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Maon History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Maon Spelling Variations
Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Maugham, Maughan, Mawgam and others.
Early Notables of the Maon family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Maon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Maon family
Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Maon were Daniel, George, Peter, William and William Maughan who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; Peter Maughen arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1848..
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)