Menlay is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England
with the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Menlay family lived in the places named Manley in Cheshire
. The place-name was originally derived from the Old English word moene,
which means common
which means wood
This surname is still found most frequently around the villages of Manley in Devon
Early Origins of the Menlay family
The surname Menlay was first found in Cheshire
at Manley, a village and civil parish in the union of Runcorn, Second division of the hundred
of Eddisbury that dates back to the Domesday Book
of 1086 where it was listed as Menlie. The place name literally means "common wood or clearing," having derived from the Old English words maene + leah. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
The surname is ancient. In fact, the coat of arms described later in this history traces it's origin to a registration in the Battell Abbey Roll as one of the "companions in arms" of the Conqueror.
Early History of the Menlay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Menlay research.Another 263 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1157, 1520, 1622, 1699, 1659, 1672 and 1724 are included under the topic Early Menlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Menlay Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations
are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Manley, Mandley, Mandly, Manly, Mannley and others.
Early Notables of the Menlay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Manley (c 1622-1699), an English politician, Post Master General, Member of Parliament for Denbigh Boroughs in 1659; and... Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Menlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Menlay family to Ireland
Some of the Menlay family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Menlay family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Menlay or a variant listed above: Edward, James, John, Joseph, Michael, Patrick, Richard, Thomas and William Manley all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860; Bridget, Ellen, James, John, Richard Manly all arrived in Quebec in 1848.
The Menlay 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: Manus haec inimica tyrannis
Motto Translation: This hand is hostile to tyrants.