Show ContentsMens 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 Mens family

The surname Mens 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 was 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 Mens family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mens research. Another 250 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1329, 1423, 1487, 1510, 1571, 1587, 1599, 1671 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Mens History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mens Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Menzies, Menigees, Mennes, Mengzes, Menzeys, Minges, Méinn (Gaelic) and many more.

Early Notables of the Mens family

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

Ireland Migration of the Mens family to Ireland

Some of the Mens 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.

United States Mens migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Mens Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Marcus Mens, aged 17, who arrived in New York, NY in 1633 1
  • Jacob Mens, who arrived in New York in 1664 1
  • Johannes Mens, who landed in New York in 1664 1
Mens Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edward Mens, who landed in Arkansas in 1882 1

The Mens 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.

  1. 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) on Facebook