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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. However, another source claims the family claim descent from "the ancient barony of 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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.


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The surname Mummer was first found in Northumberland Geoffrey de Montbray (d. 1093,) bishop of Coutances was a warrior, administrator and close assistant of William the Conqueror.

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." A strong castle was erected [at Thirsk in the North Riding of Yorkshire] about 979 by the family of Mowbray, where Roger de Mowbray in the time of Henry II., having become a confederate of the King of Scotland, erected his standard against his lawful sovereign: upon the suppression of the revolt, this fortress, with many others, was entirely demolished by order of the king." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
The same Roger de Mowbray also held Bambrough Castle in Northumberland. "After the Norman Conquest it was held by Robert de Mowbray, on whose insurrection against William Rufus it was besieged, and, after an obstinate defence, surrendered to that monarch, who threatened, unless it were given up, to put out the eyes of Mowbray, who had been taken prisoner." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

The markettown and parish of Kirby-Malzeard in the West Riding of Yorkshire was another ancient family seat. "This place was the property of the Mowbray family, afterwards dukes of Norfolk, whose castle here was demolished in the reign of Henry II., and one of whom, John de Mowbray, obtained for the inhabitants in the reign of Edward I. a charter for a weekly market and two annual fairs." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

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.


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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, 1397, 1385, 1405 and 1405 are included under the topic Early Mummer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Thomas Mowbray (1365-1399), an English nobleman, created 1st Duke of Norfolk in 1397, by King Richard II of England; 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...

Another 85 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mummer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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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Citations



  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. 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 12 July 2016 at 08:58.

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