Mennell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The history of the Mennell family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They 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 Mennell family

The surname Mennell 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]

Important Dates for the Mennell family

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

Mennell Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Meynell, Meynill, Meynil, Menel, Mannell, Maynell, Maynall and many more.

Early Notables of the Mennell family (pre 1700)

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

Mennell migration to the United States

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Mennell name or one of its variants:

Mennell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Conrad Mennell, who arrived in Baltimore in 1831
  • R. Mennell, who was naturalized in Pennsylvania in 1852

Contemporary Notables of the name Mennell (post 1700)

  • Daphne Mennell, Canadian artist

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Citations

  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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