Monsell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Monsell is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Monsell family lived in Glamorgan. Their name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Le Mans, Normandy.
"This name is frequently found in the Norman Exchequer Rolls of the twelfth century, and certainly remained in Normandy for upwards of six hundred years." 
Early Origins of the Monsell family
The surname Monsell was first found in Glamorgan where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Oxwick. Sir Phillip de Maunsell (Mansel) accompanied William, Duke of Normandy at Hastings in the Conquest of England in 1066 A.D. He was succeeded by Henry Maunsell, who was father of Sir John Maunsell (c.1190-1265,) Chief Justice of England about 1130 A.D. He received "from Philip Harley (called in the pedigree his grandfather) the manor of Oxmuth or Ormuch in Glamorgan, which long remained the dwelling place of his family. From him descended the celebrated ecclesiastic John Mancel, who in the time of Henry III. ranked among the first men in the land. He was reputed to be the richest clerk in the world, and as a proof of 'the enormities of the principles of plurality and nonresidence which prevailed in those days,' it is computed that he held seven hundred livings (jobs) at one and the same time !" 
But, there is another version of this family's origins: "the curious poetical history of this family, preserved in 'Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica,' claims one 'Saher' there written 'Sier, the syer of us all,' as their ancestor: he is stated to have been the son of Ralph Maunsel, who was living in Buckinghamshire in the 14th of Henry II. (1167). " 
"A priory for Black canons was founded [at Bilsington, Kent], before the year 1253, by John Mansell, provost of Beverley, who dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin." 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had several entries for the family using various early spellings: Thomas le Mansell in Buckinghamshire; Sampson le Maunse in Bedfordshire; Frater Maunsel in Norfolk; Maunsel (without surname) in Huntingdonshire; and Thomas Maunsel in Cambridgeshire. Over one hundred years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had two entries: Johannes Mauncell; and Alicia Maunsell.  The last entry is very significant in that entries for women were indeed rare at this time.
Early History of the Monsell family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Monsell research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1640, 1195, 1264, 1579, 1665, 1487, 1559, 1542, 1623, 1699, 1645, 1645 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Monsell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Monsell 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 Maunsell, Maunsel, Mansel, Mancel, Mauncell, Mauncel, Mannsell, Mannsel and many more.
Early Notables of the Monsell family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Maunsell, or Mansel (circa 1195-1264), Provost of Beverley, English judge, and Secretary of State and Chancellor to King Henry III; Francis Mansell (1579-1665), Principal of Jesus College, Oxford; Sir Rice Mansel of Margam (1487-1559)...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Monsell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Monsell family to Ireland
Some of the Monsell family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 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 Monsell family
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 Monsell name or one of its variants: Henry Mancel who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811; John Mansel settled in Virginia in 1653; John Mansell settled in Virginia in 1650; Robert Mansell settled in New England in 1679.
Contemporary Notables of the name Monsell (post 1700) +
- C. G. Monsell, American politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Windsor, 1910 
Related Stories +
The Monsell 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: Honorantes me honorabo
Motto Translation: I will honour those who honour me.
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html