Menell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Menell reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Menell family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Menell family lived in Derbyshire. The name, however, refers to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Mesnil, Normandy.

Early Origins of the Menell family

The surname Menell was first found in Derbyshire during the reign of Henry II where "one of the most ancient possessions was Langley-Maynell, in that county, an estate which remained in the family till the end of the fourteenth century. A younger son at this period was seated at Yeaveley, his grandson at Willington." [1] Confirming this early origin, another source notes: "The manor took its name of Meynell from an ancient family who possessed it so early as the reign of Edward III. and from whom it passed, by successive female heirs." [2]

But in 1669, Isaac Meynell, citizen of London bought the manor back from William Cavendish, Duke of Newcastle, only to have his only daughter and heiress convey the lands to the Cecils who again sold the lands back to another branch of the family of Meynell. By far the strongest branch of the family was found later in Staffordshire at Hore-Cross. [3]

The parish of Sowerby in the North Riding of Yorkshire was home to yet another branch of the family. "This place, at an early period, was the property of the Lascelles family, who in the reign of Elizabeth granted it to the Meynells, whose descendant Thomas Meynell, Esq., is now lord of the manor." [2]

Early History of the Menell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Menell research. Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Menell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Menell Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Menell family name include Meynell, Meynill, Meynil, Menel, Mannell, Maynell, Maynall and many more.

Early Notables of the Menell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Menell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Menell family

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Menell family to immigrate North America: Conrad Mennell, who arrived in Baltimore in 1831; R. Mennell, who was naturalized in Pennsylvania in 1852; Christopher Meynell, who arrived in America in 1678.



The Menell 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: Deus non reliquit memoriam humilium
Motto Translation: God hath not forgotten the humble.


  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. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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