Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Mann Name
Mann Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
This is an English, German and Dutch (de Mann) that has six possible origin theories. First, it is believed to have developed from a nickname for a strong or fierce man, or for a man contrasted to a boy, deriving from the Middle English, Middle High German, and Middle Dutch word man. Second, also could have arisen as an occupational name for a servant, as the term was sometimes used to describe a person of low social status in medieval times. Along these lines, some assert it was a name for the vassal or tenants of a Knight in feudal society during the Middle Ages in parts of Europe. Others translate it as foreman or hero. Third, it may have derived from a Germanic/Teutonic personal (first) name, found as the given name Manna in Old English. Fourth, it may have developed as a name to for someone from Maine, a French province, became common in Yorkshire, likely being brought during and after the Norman Invasion of England in 1066 AD. Fifth, one source claims it possible it referred to a person who was from the Isle of Man, an island between Great Britain and Ireland. Sixth, it may be a spelling variant of the Scottish last name Main, a reduced form of Magnus. In his 1903 book, British Family Names: Their Origin and Meaning, Henry Barber stated the following in regard to this common surname: “From the Old Norse, Manni; from the Frisian, Manne, Manno; from the German, Mann; in the Domesday Book, Man, Manna, Manne, Manus; from the Danish, Mann; from the Dutch, Mahn, Man; a personal name”.
The Roman historian Tacitus said the following of German/Teutonic mythology, folklore, and religion: “They celebrate in their ancient hymns, Tuisco, the earth-born, and his son Mannus, the originators and founders of their race”. One source asserts the Manns first lived in Aberdeen, Scotland and descended from the Strathclyde-Briton. It is also found in early times in Styria, Austria.
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Man, Manne, Manns, Manny, Manson, and others.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Mann ranks 379th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following six states: Kansas, Alabama, Indiana, Oregon, Virginia, and Florida.
The surname Mann frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (208th), Scotland (365th), Wales (480th), Ireland (1,472nd) and Northern Ireland (701th). In England, it ranks highest in counties Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Shetland and Angus. In Wales, it ranks highest in Carmarthenshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in county Westmeath.
In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in county Armagh. The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (305th), New Zealand (414th), Australia (285th), and South Africa (1,110th).
Henry Brougham Guppy’s 1890 book Homes of Family Names in Great Britain states the following in regard to this last name: “The Manns have found a home in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire for at least six centuries, Man being the early form of the name (H. R.). There was a family of Mann in Norwich at the beginning of last century, and the name is still in the city” and “Mann was an old and numerous Widecombe name in the 16th and 17th centuries, and it still has its principal home in the county in that neighbourhood”.
Early Bearers of the Surname
The first documented bearer of this name was William Man, who is listed in the register of the Knights Templar, for county Yorkshire. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists three bearers of this surname: Henry le Man (Cambridgeshire), Bartholomew le Man (Somerset), and Michael le Man (Oxfordshire). Henry le Man is recorded in Somerset in 1218 AD. The Poll Tax of 1379 AD in Yorkshire lists four bearers: Patricius de Man, Johannes de Man, Cecilia Manne, and Johannes de Manne. An early marriage involving this surname was Robert Mann to Avis Hankel at St. George the Martyr, Canterbury, in 1577 AD. John Man became a burgess of Aberdeen, Scotland in 1399 AD. Christina Man was documented in Aberdeen in 1411 AD. Nicolaus Man was documented in 1431 AD. Andrew Man resides in Brechin in 1472.
Mann Family Tree & Mann Genealogy
The following is a discussion of seven different noble, royal, landed, or aristocratic families bearing this last name.
Mann of Dunmoyle and Corvey Lodge
The lineage or ancestry of this branch of the Mann family tree traces back to a family of this name that lived in Kent and Hatfield Broadoak, county Essex, England, who went to Ireland around 1600 AD, receiving a land grant, and settled at Byblox, county Cork, and later Tyrone. John Mann, a merchant of Dublin, Ireland, received a grant of land, and left his property to his brother in his will dated 1633. His brother, William Mann, died around 1690, and had a son named Samuel. Samuel Mann, of Byblox, near Doneraile, county Cork, married and had issue. His son was Thomas Mann of Blyblox. Thomas married Frances Henrietta Hamilton, and had issue with her: Henry (discussed below), Isaac, Horace (emigrated to Baltimore, Maryland, US), William (officer in the Army), and Frances (married Mr. Clarke of Stephen’s Green, had son named Thomas who was the Registrar of the Consistorial Court, Archdiocese of Dublin). The eldest son, Henry Mann, Esquire of Byblox, and later Athenry, county Tyrone, was born in 1745. In 1772, he married Jane, daughter of William Smythe and Anne Crosbie, and had children with her. One son, Deane Mann, was an Esquire of Corvey Lodge who was born in 1776. In 1805, he married Sarah, daughter of Arthur Mulholland of Pomeroy, and had the following children with her: 1) John Henry, 2) Deane (discussed below), 3) Violet (married Reverend Andrew Christie of Termon House), 4) Anne Jane, 5) Eliza, 6) Emily, 7) Sarah, 8) Maria (married her cousin, Thomas Mann of Bloom Hull, had issue named William Henry and Thomas Deane), and 9) Frances Henrietta. He died in 1844. His son, Deane Mann, Esquire of Dunmoyle and Corvey Lodge, county Tyrone, was born in June of 1824. He was a Justice of the Peace, Major and Hon. Lieutenant-Colonel of the Royal Tyrone Fusiliers, Lord of the Manor of Corrigan, and Patron of the Living of Dunmoyle. In 1856, he married Mary Stobart, daughter of William Jeffcock, Esquire of High Hazels, county York, and had children with her as follows: Catherine Mary Jeffcock Deane and Emily Frances Henrietta. The Mann family crest for this branch of the family tree is blazoned in the medieval art of heraldry as follows: Or, on chevron engrailed ermines between three lions rampant sable a trefoil of the first. Crest: Five spears proper issuant from the top of a tower or, the tower charged with a trefoil vert. Motto: Virtus vincit invidiam. This family was seated at Dunmoyle and at Corvey Lodge, county Tyrone.
The lineage or pedigree of this family traces back to Thomas Mann, of Thelveton Hall, county Norfolk, and of Roseneath House, Winchmore Hill, county Middle Sex, England who was born in 1822. In 1846, he married Fanny, daughter of Robert Spence of Elvington, county York and his wife Sarah. He had two sons and two daughters as follows: 1) Thomas James (of Hyde Hall, Sawbridgeworth, county Herford, who was a Justice of the Peace, married Rose Ann, daughter of Paul Bell of Vale House, had issue), 2) Fanny (married Sir William Thomas Paulin, of Broadfields, Winchmore Hill, had issue), 3) Julia, and 4) Edward. The second son, Sir Edward Mann, 1st Baronet, was born in 1854. He was a Justice of the Peace, High Sheriff, and Mayor of Stepney (in 1900). In 1822, he married a daughter of Paul Bell of Vale House, and had issue as follows: 1) Sir Edward John (2nd Baronet, see below), 2) William Edgar (educated at Marlborough, Major in the Royal Army who was wounded twice in World War I, married Sarah Douglas, daughter of Sir Alexander Sprot, had issue named Edward Charles, Ann Sara, and Penelope Jane), 3) Francis Thomas (educated at Malvern and Pembroke College Cambridge, Captain of the 1st Bn. Scots Guards, served in World War I and was wounded three times, married Enid Agnes, daughter of George A. Tilney of Cadopgan Place, had issue named Francis George, John Pelham, Joan Elizabeth, and Margaret Enid), 4) Charles Julian (Lieutenant of the 14th Hussars, served in World War I, killed in action in 1918), and 5) Fanny Julia (married R.S.H. Warn in 1947). He was created a Baronet in 1943. He was succeeded by his eldest son. Sir Edward John Mann, 2nd Baronet, was born in 1883. He was educated at Marlborough and Pembroke College Cambridge, obtaining a B.A. in 1904. He was High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1939 and Captain in the 4th Bn. Norfolk Regiment, serving in World War I. He was also a Master of the Brewers’ Co. from 1921-1922. The Mann Coat of Arms for this branch of the family has the following heraldic blazon: Argent a chevron sable between in chief two crosses moline and in base an annulet gules. Crest: A demi man in profile in armour proper, the helmet adorned with four feathers argent, holding in the dexter hand a cross as in the arms. Motto: Homme D’Etat. This family was seated at Thelveton, Hall, Diss, Norfolk, England (in modern day United Kingdom, once called Great Britain).
Other Mann Pedigree & Family Trees
John Mann was born in 1445 AD. He had thee sons: John, James, and Christopher. His son, James Mann, was born in Broad Oaks, county Kent, England in 1487. He had two sons: Christopher and John. His son, John Mann, was born in Canterbury, county Kent, England in 1517 AD. He had a son named William. This son William was born in Hutton, Kent in 1547. He married Frances Blaverhasset and had two sons with her: George and Charles. His son Charles was born in Hutton, Bradock, Kent around 1581 AD. In 1606, he married Afra Parker and had two sons with her: William and Richard I. The following paragraphs discusses both sons and their descendants.
1) His son, William Mann, was born in Kent, England around 1607. He went to New England and married there twice in Massachusetts: Mary Jarred and Alice Tiel. He had a son named Reverend Samuel Mann (or Mann) who was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1647. He married Esther, daughter of Robert Ware, and had children with her as follows: Samuel, Nathaniel, Theadore, Beriah (Hawes), Peletiah, Margaret (Whiting), and Esther. His sons had many issue:
a) His son Samuel was born in Wrentham, MA in 1675. He married Zipporah Billings Throope and had issue: Mercy, Beriah, Zipporah, Richard, Hannah, and Bezalell.
b) His son Nathaniel was born in Dedham, MA in 1677. He married Elizabeth George and had sons with her named George and Mann.
c) His son Theadore was born in Wrentham, MA in 1680. He married Abigail Hawes and had the following children: Theodoras, Mary, Phebe, Thedore, Abigail (Whiting), Margaret, Sarah, Daniel, Beriah Hawes, Thomas, and Jerusha
d) Thomas Mann (or Man) was born in Wrentham, MA in 1682. He married Hannah Aldis and had the following issue: Nathaniel, Ruth, and Hepsaba (Metcalf).
e) Pelatiah Mann was born in the same town aid 1689. He married Jemima Farrington and had the following issue: Daniel and Lois (Hawes) and Jemima.
2) His son, Richard Mann I, was born in Cornwall, England in 1611. In 1637, in he married Rebecca Short (or Cowan), and had the following issue prior to his 1655 death in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts: Nathaniel Sr., Thomas Sr., Richard II, and Josiah. At least three of these four sons had issue:
a) His son Nathaniel Mann Sr. was born in Scituate, Plymouth Colony in 1646. He married Deborah Perry and children with her as follows: William, Nathaniel Jr., Priscilla, Sarah, and John.
b) His son Thomas Mann Sr. was born in Hanover, MA in 1650. He married Sarah Ensign (or Woodworth?) and had the following children with her: Josiah, Thomas Jr., Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth, Joseph, Benjamin Sr., and Ensign. He died in Rhode Island.
c) His son Richard Mann II was born in Scituate, MA in 1652. He married Elizabeth Sutton and had the following issue with her: John, Rebecca, Hannah, Nathaniel, Elizabeth, Abigail, and Elisha.
For more of the Mann family genealogy, visit this website.
Early American and New World Settlers
The book Genealogical Guide to the Early Settlers, mentions 11 bearers of this last name:
1) Abraham Mann of Providence, 1676, was one of few who did remove in King Philip’s war. He took an oath of allegiance in 1671.
2) Francis Mann of Providence, his daughter married John Lapham in 1673.
3) James Mann of Newport, a freeman in 1653
4) Josiah Mann was a soldier, from Boston or Charlestown, under Captain Turner, and was at Hadley in 1676.
5) Nathaniel Mann of Boston, MA, 1670, may have been the brother of Josiah, had a wife named Deborah and had a son named William born in 1672.
6) Richard Mann of Scituate, 1646, claimed to have been on the Mayflower, but not the case. Was thought to be a youth in Elder Brewser’s family. He had issue as follows: Nathaniel (1646), Thomas (1650), Richard (1652), and Josiah (1654).
7) Samuel Mass of Dedham, 1642
8) Thomas Mann of Rehoboth, had a wife named Rachel, who had a child named Thomas, and died in 1676. In 1678, he married Mary Wheaton and had issue with her named Rachel (1679), Mary (1681), and Bethia (1683?).
9) Samuel Mann of Wrentham, son of William. In 1673, he married Ester, daughter of Robert Ware of Dedhma, and became a freeman in 1678. He was ordained in 1692 and preached for many years. He had issue as follows: Mary (1674), Samuel (1675), Theodore (1681), Thomas (1682), Hannah (1685), Beriah (1687), Pelatiah (1689), Margaret (1691), Esther (1696), Nathaniel, and William.
10) William Mann of Cambridge, 1634, came from Kent, England and was born in 1607. He was the youngest of 11 children. In 1643, he married Mary Jarrard or Garrard. He had a son named Samuel, born in 1647, who attended Harvard College. He later married Alice Teel. He died in 1662.
Ann Mann, age 17, came to the Barbados board the Alexander in 1635. Thomas Mann, age 23, came to Virginia aboard the Thomas & John in June 1635. William Mann, age 25, came to Virginia aboard the Thomas & John in June 1635. Other settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include: Percival Mann (Virginia 1623), Jon Mann (Virginia 1703), Lewis Mann (Virginia 1703), Heinrich Mann (New York 1709), and William Mann (Virginia 1714). In Canada, William Mann, age 30, and John Mann, age 18 came to Saint John, New Brunswick in 1815. In Australia, William Mann, a shipwright by trade, came to New South Wales around 1830. In 1838, Jane Mann came to the city of Adelaide aboard the Rajasthan. In 1839, Charles Mann, came to Adelaide aboard the Somersetshire. In New Zealand, in 1841, the following family came to Wellington aboard the Arab: John (or Jonathan) Mann and Elizabeth Mann. In 1849, John Mann, 13 years old, came to Wellington aboard the Mariner.
Early Americans Bearing the Mann Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) contains two entries for this surname:
1) Per fess embattled counter embattled argent and [azure] 3 goats pass counterchanged attired or. On the tomb at Timber Neck, Gloucester County, Va., of Mary Mann, who d. 18 Mar., 1703-4. Crozier Va. Heral., 1908, p. 50. Wm. & Mary Quar., Apr 1894, p. 266.
2) Sa a fess embattled counter-embattled between 3 goats statant contourné. Impaling: Argent on a fess cotised gules 3 cocks. Crest: out of a mural crown a demi- dragon sable. Bookplate Roland William Mann, by E. H. Garrett of Boston.
Matthew’s American Armoury and Bluebook (1907) contains one entry for this last name:
1) Edward Mann of Ipswich, county Suffolk, England, came to New England in 1625. Arms: Sable, on a fesse embattled, counter-embattled, between three goats passant, as many pellets. Crest: A demi-dragon, wings endorsed argent, guttee sable.
I have identified four Mann family mottoes:
1) Per ardua stabilis (Firm in adversity) for Mann of Ditchingham
2) Virtus vincet invidiam (Virtue overcometh envy) or (He conquers by virtue)
3) Homme D’Etat (Statesman)
4) Homo sum (I am a man)
We have 23 coats of arms for the Mann surname depicted here. These 23 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848, as well as Johannes Baptista Rietstap’s book, Armorial General, which was published in 1861. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore a Mann Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Mann Family Crest)
1) Henry Mann, Bp. of the Isle of Man, 27 January 1545-6
2) John Man of Lynzeh (Lyndsell), Essex, England, confirmed in the 1550s or 1560s.
3) John Man of Bolinbroke, county Lincolnshire, Justice of the Peace and feodary of the Duchye of Lancaster within said county; given 5 April 1561 by Dalton.
4) John Mann of the city of Norwich, 4 January 1664-1665, by Sir. E. Bysshe
5) William Manne, son of John, of Holy Cross, city of Canterbury, 10 June 1601, by Camden
6) Sir Horace Mann, Baronet, 1768, 5th Earl of Cornwallis
7) Mann, late Cornwallis, son of the Honorable James Cornwwallis, Bp. of Lichfield and Coventry, 1814
8) Frances and Edith Mann, daughter of Thomas Alfred, of Round Green, York
9) Ann, widow of John Mann, or Boldshay Hall, county York, 1880
There are hundreds of notable people with the Mann surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Aime Mann (1960) who was an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Virginia, 2) William Abram Mann (1854-1934) who was a General in the United States Army who commanded the 17th Infantry Brigade in the Spanish-American War and the commander of the 42nd Infantry Division in the First World War, as well as the Pancho Villa Expedition, born in Atloona, Pennsylvania, 3) William Hodges Mann (1843-1927) who was the 46th Governor of Virginia from 1910-1914, 4) Thomas Mann (1856-1941) who was a self-educated British trade unionist from Foleshill, 5) Nicole Victoria Aunapu Mann (1977) who was an American NASA astronaut born in Petaluma, California, 6) Leslie Mann (1972) who was a famous American actress from San Francisco, CA, known for her roles in films such as Big Daddy, Knocked Up, and This is 40, 7) Horace Mann (1796-1859) who was an American reformer in education and a politician in the Whig Party who was in the US House of Representatives for Massachusetts from 1848-1953, as well as an abolitionist, 8) James Robert Mann (1856-1922) who was a member of the US House of Representatives for Illinois from 1897-1922, having been House Minority Leader from 1911-1913, 9) John Man (1512-1569) who was an English diplomat, Dean of Gloucester College, and churchman who was born in Lacock, Winterbourne Stoke, and 10) Bathurst Bellers Mann (1858-1948) who was an Irish rugby player who plated for Cardiff and for Wales.