An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English, German
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Mays was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a person born or baptized in the month of May. The name Mays 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 Mays, 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.
The surname Mays was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Faunt.
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include May, Mai, Maye and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mays 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 Mays History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mays Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Mays 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.
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Mays or a variant listed above:
Mays Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Mays Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Mays Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
Mays Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Mays Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mays 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 16 April 2016 at 04:41.