Munsay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Munsay arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Munsay 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. His descendants occur in Sussex, but chiefly in Yorkshire and Lincoln.' " [1]

"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. " [2]

Early Origins of the Munsay family

The surname Munsay 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.

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.

About this time, 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." [3]

Early History of the Munsay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Munsay research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1377, 1291, 1296, 1395 and 1686 are included under the topic Early Munsay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Munsay Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Mounsey, Mounsie, Mouncie, Mouncey, Mouncy, Muncey, Muncie, Mounceaus, Monceaux, Monceux, Monse and many more.

Early Notables of the Munsay family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Munsay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Munsay family

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Munsay 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 Munsay 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. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.


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