Molineux History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Molineux family name to the British Isles. They lived in Lancashire. The name however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Molineaux-Sur-Seine, near Rouen, in Normandy.

Early Origins of the Molineux family

The surname Molineux was first found in Lancashire as "an ancient Norman family, who have been possessed of the manor of Sefton, in this county, from the period of the Conquest, or very soon afterwards: it was held as a knight's fee, as of the Castle of Lancaster." [1] William de Molines was the first recorded ancestor. "Previously to the Conquest, 'Sextune,' one of the original parishes of Lancashire, was held by five thanes. The family of Molyneux or Molines subsequently settled here. William des Molines, so named from Moulines, a town of Bourbonnois, in France, is mentioned in the Norman Chronicles as a man of noble origin, held in high esteem by the Duke William, afterwards William I. of England. In the roll of Battle Abbey, his name stands the eighteenth in order; and soon after the Conquest, he acquired, by gift of Roger de Poictou, the lordships of Sefton, Thornton, and Kerden, of which he made Sefton his chief seat. " [2]

We now wish to draw the reader's attention to the township of Netherton in the parish of Sefton. "Sir William Molyneux, who received the honour of knighthood in the 46th of Henry III., gave by a deed without date, to William, son of his brother Roger, certain lands in Netherton, to hold by knight's service and the yearly rent of one halfpenny; and Sir William, a member of the same family, gave lands in Netherton to his son, John, about the reign of Richard II. The township is still the property of the family of Molyneux." [2]

Over in Kirby more records of the family were found. "Adam de Molynes, lord of Sefton, in the reign of William II. married Annotta, heiress of Benedict, son of Roger Gernet; and this place has ever since remained in the family of Molyneux, of Sefton." [2]

The parish of Altcar in Lancashire has an interesting feature of the family's history. "Little Altcar is a hamlet adjacent to Formby; and Altcar Hall is an ordinary farmhouse, over the door of which were formerly the arms of the noble family of Molyneux." [2]

"Croxteth Hall, [in West Derby, Lancashire] formerly called Barret's Hall, the chief seat of the earl of Sefton, is situated in this township on the borders of Croxteth Park, from which it takes its name. The Molyneux family acquired it in Henry VI's reign, when Sir Richard Molyneux was steward of the manor, and about 1540 was one of the chief residences of the Molyneux family." [3]

Early History of the Molineux family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Molineux research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1598, 1594, 1636, 1620, 1654, 1624, 1699, 1685, 1759, 1651, 1696, 1702, 1616, 1693, 1656 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Molineux History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Molineux Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Molinieux, Molinaux, Molineaux, Molineux, Molinex and many more.

Early Notables of the Molineux family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Thomas Molyneux of Horton; Emery Molyneux (d. 1598), English Elizabethan maker of globes, mathematical instruments and ordnance; Richard Molyneux, 1st Viscount Molyneux (1594-1636); Richard Molyneux, 2nd Viscount...
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Molineux Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Molineux family to Ireland

Some of the Molineux family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 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 Molineux migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Molineux or a variant listed above were:

Molineux Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edward Molineux, who arrived in Virginia in 1719
Molineux Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Edmund Molineux, who arrived in New York in 1820
  • A. Molineux, aged 57, who arrived in America from Chicago, in 1892
  • Mrs. Molineux, aged 46, who arrived in Chicago, Illinois, in 1892
  • Joseph Molineux, aged 25, who arrived in America, in 1894
Molineux Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Winifred Molineux, aged 36, who arrived in America, in 1910
  • John B. Molineux, aged 2, who arrived in Metucken, New Jersey, in 1913
  • Charles Molineux, aged 49, who arrived in America from Ambalema, Colombia, in 1917
  • Margaret Molineux, aged 34, who arrived in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1920
  • Thomas Molineux, aged 29, who arrived in America, in 1921
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Molineux migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Molineux Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • E. Molineux, aged 20, a servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tongariro" in 1888

Contemporary Notables of the name Molineux (post 1700) +

  • William Molineux (1717-1774), English-born, American hardware merchant who is best known for his role in the Boston Tea Party
  • Beatrix Molineux Miller (1923-2014), British fashion and cultural magazine editor


  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. ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].


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