McMinn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The earliest known forbear of the surname is Robert de Manieres, a Norman from Mesnieres, near Rouen, Normandy. His name appeared in the "Roll of Battle Abbey," an honor roll of all those who fought at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD. He was first granted land in Kent and Surrey under Odo, Bishop of Bayeux.
One branch of the family remained in England to eventually become the Dukes of Rutland with the surname of Manners, the Normanized Saxon way of pronouncing this name. However, with growing dissatisfaction under the Conqueror's rule, one branch of the family (it is not certain whether this was the most senior branch) moved north, probably with Margaret, King Malcolm Ceanmore's second wife, where they were granted lands in Lothian. They moved from the Lowlands into the Highlands in about 1090. They settled in the Lands of Culdares in Glenylon.
Early Origins of the McMinn family
The surname McMinn was first found in Midlothian, where it is quite understandable that the native Gaelic had difficulty with this Norman surname, and it can be found in various forms, among them: Mengues, Mingies and Meyners.
The reason for these variations is the attempt to pronounce the "y" in Menyers (another variation of the original) in the Gaelic results in a cross between the sound of a "y" and that of a "g". Within a century the Clan were truly Gaelicized, although for Court purposes the first Chief retained the name of Sir Robert de Meyners.
Sir Robert had risen in court circles, under King Alexander II to the position of Chamberlain of Scotland in 1249. The earliest surviving charter of this Clan is held by the Moncreiffes. In the Charter we find a grant of Lands of Culdares (now spelt Culdair) "as freely, quietly, fully and honorably as any Baron within the Kingdom of Scotland is able to give such land." The witnesses to this deed, which established a barony within the Earldom of Atholl, were David de Meyneris and also Alexander de Meyneris.
Sir Robert was also granted lands in Rannoch that had belonged to King Alexander's own family. One cannot then help but conjecture that he had, in fact, married one of the King's daughters (that his sons took the Royal name of David, and Alexander may be evidence to this), however, this is not recorded. Sir Alexander, Sir Robert's son, was granted Aberfeldybeg in Strath Tay and the property of Weem. The reason for these grants is again not recorded, but we may draw the same conclusion.
Early History of the McMinn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMinn research. Another 250 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1487, 1329, 1423, 1510, 1571, 1587, 1599, 1671 and are included under the topic Early McMinn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McMinn Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Menzies, Menigees, Mennes, Mengzes, Menzeys, Minges, Méinn (Gaelic) and many more.
Early Notables of the McMinn family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early McMinn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name McMinn is the 6,114th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 
Migration of the McMinn family to Ireland
Some of the McMinn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McMinn migration to the United States +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
McMinn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Samuel McMinn, aged 25, who arrived in New York, NY in 1805 
- James McMinn, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853 
McMinn migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
McMinn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Mr. John McMinn who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "George" departing 13th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 12th June 1847 but he died on board 
McMinn migration to Australia +
Emigration to Australia
followed the First Fleets
of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
McMinn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Mary McMinn, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Sultana" 
- Samuel McMinn, aged 19, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"
McMinn 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:
McMinn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. Robert McMinn, Scottish settler travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th October 1861 
- Mrs. McMinn, Scottish settler travelling from Clyde aboard the ship "Robert Henderson" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 5th October 1861 
- Elizabeth McMinn, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863
- Sarah McMinn, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Queen of Beauty" in 1863
- Robert McMinn, aged 19, a boiler maker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ionic" in 1884
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name McMinn (post 1700) +
- Deane McMinn, American figure skating judge
- Teri McMinn (b. 1951), American actress
- Joseph McMinn (1758-1824), American Governor of Tennessee
- Kevin Clifton "Ted" McMinn (b. 1962), Scottish former association footballer
- Edward Graham McMinn (d. 1883), 19th century Member of Parliament in the Waikato Region of New Zealand
- Bertie McMinn, former footballer MEH of the Irish Football League
- William McMinn (1844-1884), Australian surveyor and architect
- Derek McMinn, British orthopaedic surgeon and inventor
Historic Events for the McMinn family +
- Mr. D. McMinn, British passenger who was Royal Navy was travelling aboard the railway ferry "SS Caribou" when it was struck by a German submarine torpedo on 14th October 1942, the most significant sinking in Canadian waters at that time, he survived the sinking
Related Stories +
The McMinn 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: Vil God I zal
Motto Translation: Will God I shall.
- ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
- ^ 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)
- ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 88)
- ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1850. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Sultana.htm
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html