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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Mummer family come from? What is the English Mummer family crest and coat of arms? When did the Mummer family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Mummer family history?

Mummer is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Mummer family lived in Northumberland. The name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Montbrai, in La Manche, Normandy; and Thomas de Mowbray (1385-1405), 4th Earl of Norfolk, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 8th Baron Segrave, 7th Baron Mowbray, English nobleman and rebel, after death of father, allowed to succeed him as Earl of Norfolk and Nottingham, but not as Duke of Norfolk, received his father's title of Earl Marshal, became involved with the latest rebellion of the Percies in the north, and raised an army with Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York, they were arrested as soon as they disbanded their followers, Chief Justice Sir William Gascoigne refused to pass sentence upon them before they were tried by their peers, Henry had both Norfolk and Scrope summarily beheaded, in York 1405. The family claim descent from "the ancient barony or Mowbray, called by Odericus Vitalis Molbraium, [which] was identical with the village of Monbrai, in the canton or Perci, an arrondissement of St. Lo in Normandy." [1]


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Mummer include Mowbray, Moubray, Mowbrey, Moubrey and others.

First found in Northumberland where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Geoffrey de Montbray (d. 1093,) bishop of Coutances was a warrior, administrator and close assistant of William. After the death of William, Geoffrey settled in Bristol, (as listed in the Domesday book) where he built a strong castle but frequently feuded with William II.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mummer research. Another 417 words (30 lines of text) covering the years 1297, 1366, 1399, 1377, 1396, 1444, 1476, 1475, 1225, 1314, 1365, 1399 and 1397 are included under the topic Early Mummer History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mummer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Mummers to arrive on North American shores: Thomas Moubray, who came to West Indies in 1678; William and Hannah Mowbury, who arrived in North Carolina in 1680; William Moubray, who settled in Maryland in 1716.


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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  11. ...

The Mummer Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Mummer Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 October 2015 at 07:38.

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