Munchay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Munchay was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Munchay 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 Munchay family

The surname Munchay 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 Munchay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Munchay 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 Munchay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Munchay Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Mounsey, Mounsie, Mouncie, Mouncey, Mouncy, Muncey, Muncie, Mounceaus, Monceaux, Monceux, Monse and many more.

Early Notables of the Munchay 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 Munchay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Munchay family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Munchay or a variant listed above: Margaret Mouncey, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1697; Jean Mouncy who settled in Charles Town South Carolina in 1772; Joseph Monsey, who arrived in Ontario in 1871.



The Munchay 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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