Monsey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Monsey is one of the many names that the Normans brought with them when they conquered England in 1066. The Monsey family lived in Monceaux, Normandy. "The 'Sire de Monceals' of the Roman de Ron. He 'descended from the ancient lords of Maers and Monceaux, Counts of Nevers. Landric IV. became Count of Nevers c. 990 by marriage, and had a younger son Landric of Nevers, Baron of Monceaux, grandfather of William de Monceaux, who is mentioned by Wace in 1066. He appears as William de Moncellis in the Eastern Domesday, and as William de Nevers in Norfolk 1086. [1] His descendants occur in Sussex, but chiefly in Yorkshire and Lincoln.' " [2]

"There are several communes of this name in Normandy; but Monceaux, near Bayeux, is probably the one meant. This name is frequently to be found in the earlier muniments of Battle Abbey; for a branch of the family, soon after the Conquest, settled at Bodiham, in its immediate neighbourhood. Part of his estate there was granted by William de Monceaux to the Abbey, at some date previous to 1200. " [3]

Early Origins of the Monsey family

The surname Monsey was first found in Sussex where they held a family seat as lords of the manor of Herstmonceux. They were descended from the ancient Lords of Maers and Monceaux, Counts of Nevers in Normandy. They were granted lands in Sussex and those branches, retaining the name Monceaux became the Lords of Monson, the Viscounts Castlemaine, and the Lords Sondes.

The first record of the family was "Drogo de Moncy [who] came to England 1066, and was in Palestine 1096. Drogo de Moncy, his son, had a pardon in Sussex 1130. In 1299 Walter de Moncy was summoned to Parliament as a baron." [2]

"The Moncys held Thornton of the Percy fee in Yorkshire. 'Walter de Muncy, 28 Edward I. had a charter for free-warren in his demesne lands at Thornton juxta Skipton, Everby, and Kelbroke in the co. of York. From the frequency of his name in the writs of summons of his time, he must have been a person of great eminence. In 29 Edward I, he was one of those barons Avho, in the parliament at Lincoln, subscribed that memorable letter which was addressed to the Pope,asserting the King's supremacy over the realm of Scotland; on which occasion he was denominated Dominus de Thornton." [4]

Another branch moved north into Cumberland soon after the Conquest: Hammond Monceaux was Sheriff of Cumberland in 1290, and it is there that the Mounsey branch is thought to have arisen.

In Lincolnshire, Edonea de Munchaus was listed as a Knights Templar in 1185 and a few years later, William Munci was listed in the Feet of Fines for Gloucestershire in 1198. [5]

Later, Walter de Muncy, 1st Baron Muncy (d. c. 1309), was summoned to Parliament and was accordingly granted a peerage on 6 February 1299. This gentleman may be the same person referenced at Thornton in the West Riding of Yorkshire in early times. "This place in the reign of Edward I. belonged to Walter de Muncey, who obtained from that monarch the grant of a weekly market, and a fair on the festival of St. Thomas the Martyr and four following days." [6]

Early History of the Monsey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Monsey research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1377, 1291, 1296, 1395, 1686, 1693, 1788, 1693, 1714 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Monsey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Monsey 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 Mounsey, Mounsie, Mouncie, Mouncey, Mouncy, Muncey, Muncie, Mounceaus, Monceaux, Monceux, Monse and many more.

Early Notables of the Monsey family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Messenger Monsey (1693-1788), physician, born in 1693, was eldest son of Robert Monsey, some time rector of Bawdeswell, Norfolk, but ejected as a nonjuror, and his wife Mary, daughter of the Rev. Roger Clopton. (The family of Monsey or Mounsey is supposed to be derived from the Norman house of De Monceaux.) Monsey was educated at home, and afterwards at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1714. He studied medicine at Norwich under Sir Benjamin Wrench, and was admitted extra licentiate of...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Monsey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Canada Monsey migration to Canada +

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 Monsey name or one of its variants:

Monsey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Monsey, who arrived in Ontario in 1871

Contemporary Notables of the name Monsey (post 1700) +

  • Derek Monsey, Actress and Novelist
  • Sir Robert Monsey Rolfe (1790-1868), English politician, 1st Baron Cranworth, Lord Chancellor of England in 1852


The Monsey 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: Semper paratus
Motto Translation: Always prepared.


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  4. ^ 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
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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