Munharvay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Munharvay arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Munharvay comes from the Breton personal name Aeruiu or Haerviu. It is composed of the elements haer, which means battle or carnage, and vy, which means worthy. The name was commonly introduced to England in its Gallic form Hervé.[1]

"This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Harvey.' This great personal name had not become so rare in the 12th and 13th centuries that it could escape surnominal honours. On the contrary, it is still found as a fairly familiar personal name up to the beginning of the 14th century. " [2]

Hervey or Hervaeus (d. 1131), was "bishop successively of Bangor and Ely, of Breton race, was a royal clerk, high in favour with William Rufus and confessor to Henry I. " [3]

Early Origins of the Munharvay family

The surname Munharvay was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the Latin form of the name, Herveus, was first used. Herueu de berruarius was also listed in Suffolk at that time. [4]

Herueide Caster was recorded in Lincolnshire 1157-1163. Later in Suffolk, Willelmus filius Hervici was listed in the Feet of Fines of 1242 and William Hervi, Herevi was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1196. William Hervy was found in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1232 and later, Richard Herfu was found in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed early spellings of the name as both a personal name and a surname: Harvey Dunnyng and Warin Hervi in Cambridgeshire; Robert filius Hervei in Lincolnshire; and Herveus le Gos, in Lincolnshire. [2]

"As a family designation it appears in England in the XII. cent. Osbert de Hervey is styled, in the register of St. Edmundsbury, the son of Hervey. From him according to the Peerage sprang the Herveys, ennobled in England and Ireland, and also (in all probability, from the resemblance of their arms) the De Hervi's and Hervies of Aberdeenshire and other parts of Scotland." [5]

Distribution of the surname throughout Britain is most interesting. "Well distributed over England south of a line drawn from Hull to Chester. North of that line its frequency abruptly ceases. It is best represented in Essex, Hants, and Kent, and then in Corwall, Devon, Staffordshire, Notts, Norfolk, and Suffolk. Its preference for the coast counties, especially those in the south - east of England from Kent to Norfolk, is to be remarked." [6]

Early History of the Munharvay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Munharvay research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1578, 1657, 1616, 1578, 1657, 1586, 1660, 1624, 1629, 1601, 1673, 1642, 1601, 1611, 1616, 1680, 1661, 1679, 1540 and are included under the topic Early Munharvay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Munharvay 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 Harvey, Hervey, Hervie, Harvie and others.

Early Notables of the Munharvay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Harvey (1578-1657), an English physician, first to describe in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the body by the heart; Sir William Hervey (1586-1660), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1624 and 1629; Edmund Harvey or Hervey (c.1601-1673), an English soldier and member of Parliament during the English Civil War, who sat as a commissioner at the Trial of King Charles I and helped...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Munharvay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Munharvay family to Ireland

Some of the Munharvay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Munharvay 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 Munharvay or a variant listed above: William Harvey settled in New England in 1630; Nicholas Hervey settled in Maryland in 1634; Alexander Harvie settled in Virginia in 1635; Anne Harview settled in Virginia in 1635.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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