The Norman Conquest
in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Molesworthay family lived in a place named Molesworth in Cambridgeshire
or a place named Mouldsworth in Cheshire
. The place-name Molesworth is derived from the Old English word Mulesword,
which is composed of the elements mul,
which means mule,
which means enclosure.
The place-name Mouldsworth is derived from the Old English words molda,
which means the crown of the head
or top of the hill,
which again means enclosure. CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
Early Origins of the Molesworthay family
The surname Molesworthay was first found in Huntingdon
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor of Molesworth in that shire. Conjecturally they are descended from Eustace the Sheriff of Huntingdon
who held his lands at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book
from Countess Judith, a relation of Duke William of Normandy
. "Sir Walter de Molesworth was one of Edward the 1st's Crusaders." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
Some of the family were found at Tetcott in Devon
since early times. "Tetcott House, the beautiful seat of Sir William Molesworth, Bart., was destroyed by fire in May, 1841." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Molesworthay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Molesworthay research.Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1124, 1638, 1689, 1656, 1725, 1680 and 1758 are included under the topic Early Molesworthay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Molesworthay Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations
. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Molesworth, Molesworthy, Mollsworth, Molsworth, Molswurth, Mollswurth, Mollswirth, Moleswirth, Mullsworth, Moldworth, Moldsworth and many more.
Early Notables of the Molesworthay family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Hender Molesworth (1638-1689), 1st Baronet
Molesworth of Pencarrow, Governor of Jamaica; Robert Molesworth (1656-1725), 1st Viscount Molesworth, British statesman, English and Irish landowner, Ambassador to Denmark, Ambassador to Sweden... Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Molesworthay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Molesworthay family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Molesworthay or a variant listed above: Captain Moldsworth who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1766; and members of the family who settled at Spring Garden in Jamaica and became known as Colonial Gentry..
The Molesworthay 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: Vincit amor patriae
Motto Translation: My beloved country will conquer.