Munns History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Today's generation of the Munns family bears a name that was brought to England by the migration wave that was started by the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Munns family 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, "where the site of their castle is still to be seen. Wace tells us that 'old William de Moion had with him many companions' and the battle of Hastings, and one of Leland's rolls of the Norman conquerors is nothing but a list of those who came in the train of 'Monseir William de Moion le Veil, le plus noble de tout l'ouste." [1]

Early Origins of the Munns family

The surname Munns 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. [2]

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." [3]

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." [3]

"Rosteage, [in the parish of Gerrans, Cornwall] in the reign of Elizabeth, was the seat of Reginald Mohun, a captain under Sir Walter Raleigh. In this family it continued until the year 1662, when it was purchased by Nicholas Kempe, Esq." [4]

Early History of the Munns family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Munns research. Another 260 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1390, 1579, 1587, 1712, 1718, 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 Munns History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Munns Spelling Variations

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 Munns include Moyon, Moion, Mohun, Moyne, Munn, Munns, Munson, Munton, Mwn, Mun, Munds, Mouns, Muns, Munnes, Munnson, Munnsen, Munning and many more.

Early Notables of the Munns family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Reginald Mohun, 1st Baronet (ca.1603-1642), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1625 and 1626; John Mohun, 1st Baron Mohun of Okehampton (1595-1641), an English politician; Warwick Mohun, 2nd Baron Mohun of Okehampton (1620-1665), an English politician; Michael Mohun (1616?-1684), a...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Munns Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Munns family to Ireland

Some of the Munns family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Munns migration to the United States +

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 Munnss to arrive on North American shores:

Munns Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Munns, who landed in Maryland in 1633 [5]
  • Joseph Munns, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [5]

Australia Munns migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Munns Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Munns, English convict who was convicted in Westminster, London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Exmouth" on 3rd March 1831, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Thomas Munns, aged 25, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Standard" [7]
  • Henry B. Munns, aged 20, a blacksmith, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Magdalena" [8]
  • Elizabeth Munns, aged 48, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Magdalena" [8]
  • Sarah A. Munns, aged 12, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Magdalena" [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Munns migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Munns Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Munns, (b. 1840), aged 19, English agricultural labourer from Kent travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Victory " arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th May 1859 [9]
  • James Munns, aged 29, a bootmaker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
  • Maria Munns, aged 30, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
  • Mary Jane Munns, aged 3, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
  • Elizabeth Munns, aged 1, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

West Indies Munns migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [10]
Munns Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Munns, who settled in the Bahamas in 1679 with his servants

Contemporary Notables of the name Munns (post 1700) +

  • Leslie Ernest Munns (1908-1997), American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Ray Munns (b. 1980), American former MTV VJ
  • George Charles Munns (1877-1954), New Zealand politician, United Party Member of Parliament
  • Luke Andrew Munns (b. 1980), Australian musician, record producer and songwriter


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


  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  5. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th May 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/exmouth
  7. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STANDARD 1852. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/standard1852.shtml.
  8. ^ South Australian Register Friday 26th August 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Magdalena 1853. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/magdalena1853.shtml
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


Houseofnames.com on Facebook