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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

The history of the Munn family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They lived in Kent. The name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Moion, near St. Lo, Normandy.


The surname Munn was first found in Kent where they held a family seat at Maidstone in that shire. They were descended from Guillaume (William) de Moyon a Norman Baron whose seat was at the castle of Moion, near St. Lo in Normandy. [1] William de Moyon received large grants of land in Somerset, the Lordship of Clehangre in Devon, and Sutton in Wiltshire. He also had grants in Kent. From William was descended the first Earl of Somerset, the Earls of Dorset and the Barons of Okehampton. "At the period of the Conquest, this town [now called Minehead], then called Manheved, was given by William [the Conqueror] to William de Mohun." [2] Although the main stem of this very noble Norman family retained the various spellings of Munn or Munns, junior lines adopted the name Munson or Munnings. The same William de Mohun (Moyon) held estates in Dunster, Somerset. " The town, which is called Torre in Domesday Book, owes its origin to a baronial castle built here by William de Mohun, a Norman Baron, on whom the Conqueror had bestowed large estates in this part of the kingdom. The castle, which was held by the family of Mohun till the reign of Edward III., was the scene of hostilities in the civil wars of the reigns of Stephen and John, and in the contests between the houses of York and Lancaster; the Marquess of Hertford, also, took possession of it for Charles I. during the war with the parliament." [2]

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Moyon, Moion, Mohun, Moyne, Munn, Munns, Munson, Munton, Mwn, Mun, Munds, Mouns, Muns, Munnes, Munnson, Munnsen, Munning and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Munn research. Another 275 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1390, 1603, 1642, 1625, 1626, 1595, 1641, 1620, 1665, 1616, 1684, 1571, 1641, 1645, 1692, 1681, 1685, 1689, 1690 and are included under the topic Early Munn History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 197 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Munn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Munn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Munn name or one of its variants:

Munn Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Holliberry Munn settled in Barbados in 1654
  • Margt Munn, who arrived in Virginia in 1663
  • Mathew Munn, who landed in Maryland in 1663

Munn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Christian Munn, who landed in New York in 1740
  • Duncan Munn, who arrived in Virginia in 1776
  • Richard Munn, who arrived in Jamaica in 1795

Munn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Munn, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • William Munn and his family arrived in New York in 1811
  • David Munn, aged 43, landed in New York in 1812
  • John Munn, aged 23, landed in Missouri in 1840
  • Peter Munn, aged 25, landed in New York, NY in 1848

Munn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • John Munn was a merchant of Ferryland, Newfoundland in 1815
  • James Munn, aged 20, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Dorcas Savage" from Belfast
  • Mary Munn, aged 28, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Margaret" from London

Munn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • George Munn, aged 23, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Ascendant"
  • George Munn arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Ascendant" in 1849
  • William Munn, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Lysander"
  • James Munn (aged 26), a blacksmith, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Eliza"


  • Earl Harold Munn (1903-1992), American educationalist and temperance campaigner, academic Dean of Hillsdale College in Michigan
  • Wayne Munn (1896-1931), American professional wrestler and collegiate football player
  • Ralph W. Munn (1894-1975), American researcher and librarian, President of the American Library Association (1939-1940), recognized by the journal American Libraries as one of “100 of the most important leaders we had in the 20th century”
  • Allison Munn (b. 1974), American actress
  • Lisa Olivia Munn (b. 1980), American comedic actress and model
  • Clarence Lester "Biggie" Munn (1908-1975), American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator
  • John Calvin Munn (1906-1986), 8th Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps and United States Naval Aviator
  • Dana P. Munn, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1932
  • Daniel W. Munn, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Illinois, 1868
  • Earl Harold Munn Sr. (1903-1992), American politician, Michigan Prohibition Party State Chair, 1947; Vice-chair of Michigan Prohibition Party, 1953; Chairman of Prohibition National Committee, 1955-71



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: Omnia vincit veritas
Motto Translation: Truth conquers all things.


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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.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  2. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  11. ...

The Munn Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Munn 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 8 May 2016 at 02:39.

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