Munsel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Munsel is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Munsel family lived in Glamorgan. Their name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Le Mans, Normandy.
"This name is frequently found in the Norman Exchequer Rolls of the twelfth century, and certainly remained in Normandy for upwards of six hundred years." 
Early Origins of the Munsel family
The surname Munsel was first found in Glamorgan where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Oxwick. Sir Phillip de Maunsell (Mansel) accompanied William, Duke of Normandy at Hastings in the Conquest of England in 1066 A.D. He was succeeded by Henry Maunsell, who was father of Sir John Maunsell (c.1190-1265,) Chief Justice of England about 1130 A.D. He received "from Philip Harley (called in the pedigree his grandfather) the manor of Oxmuth or Ormuch in Glamorgan, which long remained the dwelling place of his family. From him descended the celebrated ecclesiastic John Mancel, who in the time of Henry III. ranked among the first men in the land. He was reputed to be the richest clerk in the world, and as a proof of 'the enormities of the principles of plurality and nonresidence which prevailed in those days,' it is computed that he held seven hundred livings (jobs) at one and the same time !" 
But, there is another version of this family's origins: "the curious poetical history of this family, preserved in 'Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica,' claims one 'Saher' there written 'Sier, the syer of us all,' as their ancestor: he is stated to have been the son of Ralph Maunsel, who was living in Buckinghamshire in the 14th of Henry II. (1167). " 
"A priory for Black canons was founded [at Bilsington, Kent], before the year 1253, by John Mansell, provost of Beverley, who dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin." 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had several entries for the family using various early spellings: Thomas le Mansell in Buckinghamshire; Sampson le Maunse in Bedfordshire; Frater Maunsel in Norfolk; Maunsel (without surname) in Huntingdonshire; and Thomas Maunsel in Cambridgeshire. Over one hundred years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 had two entries: Johannes Mauncell; and Alicia Maunsell.  The last entry is very significant in that entries for women were indeed rare at this time.
Early History of the Munsel family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Munsel research. Another 95 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1640, 1195, 1264, 1579, 1665, 1487, 1559, 1542, 1623, 1699, 1645, 1645 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Munsel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Munsel Spelling Variations
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Munsel are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Munsel include Maunsell, Maunsel, Mansel, Mancel, Mauncell, Mauncel, Mannsell, Mannsel and many more.
Early Notables of the Munsel family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir John Maunsell, or Mansel (circa 1195-1264), Provost of Beverley, English judge, and Secretary of State and Chancellor to King Henry III; Francis Mansell (1579-1665), Principal of Jesus College, Oxford; Sir Rice Mansel of Margam (1487-1559)...
Another 43 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Munsel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Munsel family to Ireland
Some of the Munsel family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 43 words (3 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 Munsel family
Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Munsel, or a variant listed above: Henry Mancel who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811; John Mansel settled in Virginia in 1653; John Mansell settled in Virginia in 1650; Robert Mansell settled in New England in 1679.
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: Honorantes me honorabo
Motto Translation: I will honour those who honour me.
- ^ 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
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)