Motvane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The vast movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of England of 1066 brought the Motvane family name to the British Isles. They lived in Cheshire at Mottram St. Andrew, a small village and parish that dates back to the Domesday Book where it was listed as Motre, but later listed as Motromandreus in 1351. The place name possibly meant "speaker's place" or "place where meetings are held" from the Old English motere + rum. [1] More recently, it is home to Mottram Hall, a house built around 1750. Mottram in Longdendale is a village in Greater Manchester. It is one of the eight ancient parishes of the Macclesfield Hundred of Cheshire and dates back at least 1242.

Early Origins of the Motvane family

The surname Motvane was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Mottram at the time of the Norman Conquest of England by Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D. Conjecturally they are descended from Gamal whose father held the Lordship from Earl Hugh Bigod, the Chief tenant. Mottram was classed as a Hawk's eyrie at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book survey in 1086 A.D. The village is now two villages, Mottram St. Andrew and Mottram Cross. There is now a Mottram Old Hall. The name also became Mottershead about the 16th century, branching away but retaining the same Coat of Arms.

The earliest record of the family was John de Mottrum who was listed in the Assize Rolls for Cheshire in 1287. [2]

Early East Cheshire records revealed John de Mottrum and Adam de Mottrum as both holding lands there in 1376. [3]

And an Adam de Mottrum was gaoler of Macclesfield and bailiff of the forest there in the middle of the 14th century (1301-1360.) [4]

Early History of the Motvane family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Motvane research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1595, 1605, 1564, 1565, 1541, 1678, 1715, 1688 and 1771 are included under the topic Early Motvane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Motvane Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Mottram, Mottrame, Motram, Motramm, Motteram, Mottvane, Mottershead, Mottishead, Mottishitt and many more.

Early Notables of the Motvane family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Motvane family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Motvane or a variant listed above: Thomas Mottram and William who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856; Adam Mottershed settled in Virginia in 1698; John Mottershitt settled in Virginia in 1663..



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print


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