Maunsell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Maunsell is a name that came to England in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Maunsell family lived in Glamorgan. Their name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Le Mans, Normandy.

Early Origins of the Maunsell family

The surname Maunsell was first found in Glamorgan where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Oxwick. Sir Phillip de Maunsell accompanied William, Duke of Normandy at Hastings in the Conquest of England in 1066 A.D. He was succeeded by Henry Maunsell, who was father of Sir John Maunsell (c.1190-1265,) Chief Justice of England about 1130 A.D.

But, there is another version of this family's origins: "the curious poetical history of this family, preserved in 'Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica,' claims one 'Saher' there written 'Sier, the syer of us all,' as their ancestor: he is stated to have been the son of Ralph Maunsel, who was living in Buckinghamshire in the 14th of Henry II. (1167). " [1]

"A priory for Black canons was founded [at Bilsington, Kent], before the year 1253, by John Mansell, provost of Beverley, who dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had several entries for the family using various early spellings: Thomas le Mansell in Buckinghamshire; Sampson le Maunse in Bedfordshire; Frater Maunsel in Norfolk; Maunsel (without surname) in Huntingdonshire; and Thomas Maunsel in Cambridgeshire. Over one hundred years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had two entries: Johannes Mauncell; and Alicia Maunsell. [3] The last entry is very significant in that entries for women were indeed rare at this time.

Early History of the Maunsell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Maunsell research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1640, 1195, 1264, 1579, 1665, 1487, 1559, 1542, 1623, 1699, 1645, 1645 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Maunsell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Maunsell Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Maunsell has been recorded under many different variations, including Maunsell, Maunsel, Mansel, Mancel, Mauncell, Mauncel, Mannsell, Mannsel and many more.

Early Notables of the Maunsell family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Maunsell, or Mansel (circa 1195-1264), Provost of Beverley, English judge, and Secretary of State and Chancellor to King Henry III; Francis Mansell (1579-1665), Principal of Jesus College, Oxford; Sir Rice Mansel of Margam (1487-1559)...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Maunsell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Maunsell family to Ireland

Some of the Maunsell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Maunsell migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Maunsells were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Maunsell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Maunsell, who landed in Maryland in 1649 [4]

New Zealand Maunsell migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Maunsell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • R Maunsell, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1834
  • Robert Maunsell, who landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Maunsell, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842

Contemporary Notables of the name Maunsell (post 1700) +

  • Raymond John Maunsell (1903-1976), CBE, OBE, English Brigadier General
  • Mark Stuart Ker Maunsell (1910-1980), CBE, OBE, DSO, Croix de Guerre (France), English Brigadier General
  • Guy A Maunsell (1884-1961), Irish engineer, designer and eponym of the World War II Maunsell Sea Fort
  • William Maunsell Hennessy (1829-1889), Irish scholar, born at Castle Gregory, co. Kerry, in 1829 [5]


The Maunsell Motto +

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: Honorantes me honorabo
Motto Translation: I will honour those who honour me.


  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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