Maunsell Coat of Arms
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Which coat of arms or "family crest" is mine?
Choose the design you like best, just your ancestors did when they painted these symbols on the shields they carried into battle and displayed in their homes. These coats of arms are real, historical works of art/culture dating back as far as 1100AD. Most of these designs were compiled and documented by genealogists and heraldists in large books published in the nineteenth century. These arms were owned by individuals who bore your surname, and were passed down through the generations from father to son, earning the monicker "family crest".
Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Maunsell Name
Origins of Maunsell:
This famous surname has three possible origins, two French and one English. The first, and most similar, being a French locational name from the Olde French “Mansel” given to a native of Maine (North West France) or its capital Le Mans. In France, “mansel” was also a status name for a feudal resident who attended a Manse (an area of land sufficient to support a family). The third possibility is that it acquires from the Olde English, particular name “mann,” Latinized as Manzellinus. One, Mansell de Patleshull noted in the 1203 Assize Court Rolls of Staffordshire. The first record of the surname is, however, earlier. A Robert Le Mansel appears in 1171, Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, although there are applications that one Philip de Mansel accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066. What is certain is that in the time of Edward 1st in 1287 William le Mansell noted in the old heraldic rolls as bearing a royal symbol with the blazon of three black maunches on a silver field, while later in 1320 Sir William Maunsell had a different blazon of a red field loaded with a silver fess.
More common variations are: Mansell, Munsell, Maunsel, Mannsell, Manswell, Mounsell, Manselle, Maunsell, Maunsele, Maunseli.
The surname Maunsell first appeared in Glamorgan where they held a family seat as Lords of the Estate of Oxwick. Sir Phillip de Maunsell followed William, Duke of Normandy at Hastings in the Invasion of England in 1066 AD. He won by Henry Maunsell, who was father of Sir John Maunsell (c.1190-1265,) Chief Justice of England about 1130 AD. But, there is another version of this family’s origins like “the odd poetical history of this family, saved in ‘Collectanea Geographica et Genealogica,‘ claims one ‘Saher.’
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Turstinus Mansel, dated about 1148, in the “Winton Rolls of Hampshire”. It was during the time of King Stephen, Count of Blois, dated 1135-1154. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling variations of the original one.
Many of the people with surname Maunsell had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
The following century saw much more Maunsell surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Maunsell who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included John Maunsell, who landed in Maryland in 1649.
Some of the individuals with the surname Maunsell who landed in New-Zealand in the 19th century included R Maunsell landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1834. Robert Maunsell landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840. William Maunsell landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Maunsell: England 258; New Zealand 232; Ireland 229; Australia 228; United States 178; Canada 68; Spain 3; Norway 1; Northern Ireland 1; Brazil 1.
Guy Maunsell was a designer of the Maunsell Sea Fort defense system.
Maunsell Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Maunsell blazon are the fesse dancette and lion. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and gules.
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.1Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 27. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa 2A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P85. The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo.3Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53.
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P52. Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).6A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P154
The fesse is a broad horizontal band across the centre of the shield, in very ancient times it was said to occupy one third of the area height of the shield 7A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P117, however it soon became somewhat narrower. This created an opportunity to add decorative edging to the band, of many forms, and to very pleasing artisitic effect, at least close up – it must be admitted that at distance some of the forms are hard to distinguish! Dancettee (sometimes spelled dancetty or dancy) is a bold, zig-zag pattern, perhaps the most distinctive of the patterned edges. Purists might argue that the French variant denché Is not the same, being of larger size and with the points being 90º, but there is much variation in actual practice so the difference is perhaps not that meaningful.
The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions 8A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P172 9Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 63 10Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P140. Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield 11A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P45 .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P60, a sentiment echoed equally today.