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Origin of Minney, Minnell and variant spellings


Most of these spellings are not included in my research and are here purely for interest and comparison

Maney - from Masny, France

Manny - from Hainaut, Belgium (near French border)

Mayney - from province of Maine, a region of France near Normandy.

McMinnie - variants include McMinnis, McMinnies. Derived from McMinn which in turn is derived from Menzies (pronounced Mingies). McMinns are based in Ayrshire. Galloway and Dumfriesshire. This area of Scotland is close to Northern Ireland and there are a number of McMinns in NI today. See Mennie.

Meaney - variants include Meeny and Moony. Anglicised version of O'Maonaigh. Originated in Thomond, and is now found in Counties Clare & Kilkenny. From Surnames of Ireland by E MacLysaght. See Mooney.

Meenagh - variant of Minnagh.

Meeney - see Mooney.

Mennell - see Meynell.

Mennie - a variant of Menzie. Claimed to be descended from De Meyners, a Norman knight who settled in Aberdeenshire. Original pronunciation Mingies.

Meynell - variants include Maynell, Mennell, Minnell, Menel and Mannell. (French variants Menil and Mesnil).

1. Topographical name for someone living not in the main village but in the country. Middle English spelling - Meinil and Mesnil.

There are several minor French places with this name. In England the name was used in particular to denote a fortified manor occupied by a landlord. The surname may also have been an occupational name for someone who was employed in such a manor.

2. From a Norman female personal name composed of Magin- strength, might and Hild - battle.

This entry (from the Oxford Dictionary of Surnames) suggests that the name should be widespread if not more common than it is. Most entries are derived from two landed gentry families in Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Mienie - South African spelling originated from Holland early 18th century.

Minall - pronounced Mine-all, includes variants Minell, Minnell, Minal, Minale and Mineal. Originates from Mildenhall, Wilts.

Minay - most often pronounced My - knee. Believed to originate from London early 19thc. Small in number, one family in Isle of Man, other in Northwest England. Well documented organ builders of the 1850s. May be Huguenot origin or from Miney.

Minell - pronounced Minn-ell. A variant of Minnell or Minal. Today, mostly in Portsmouth area but likely to have originated from Wiltshire.

Minet - Huguenot diminutive of the surname Minn and Minna

Miney -pronounced My - knee. Believed to originate in County Cavan, Eire. Possibly from O'Maonaigh. See Meaney. Small in number, some in north-west, London, Liverpool and Isle of Man. A common misspelling of Minney. Also, one or two early Huguenot spellings in 17thC parish registers. May be source for Minay.

Mingay -- originates from Norfolk. a Breton name men = stone and ki = dog. From after William the Conqueror

Mini - quite a few entries in the IGI for Switzerland in 18thc

Minim - an early version of Minnell peculiar to Brackley, Northants in the mid 1600s.

Minnaar - from Holland

Minnagh - "Munsterman", mainly Co Tyrone. From Surnames of Ireland by E MacLysaght.

Minn(e) - English pronounciation is Minn with the e silent. A pet name from medieval times (Minna), variants include Mynn. Minnett, Minnitt and Minns.

Minne - occurs infrequently in IGI93. Not sure of pronunciation but almost certainly it is Minney, many entries found in Belgium (and in modern telephone directories). I have found one reference in Michigan USA 19thc who at various times used spellings Minne, Minene, Minnie and Mini (see NorthWest Kent FH journal March 1990). Also appears as the ancestral name for Minnie in South Africa.

Minnee - found in Holland, believed to be from Protestants fleeing France in 17thc. May also explain Minnie found in South Africa.

Minnell - see Meynell or Minell. Also branch of this family in Argentina, New Zealand and Falkland Isles.

Minnery -very old English name with established pedigree. Not common. Mostly North West and Derbyshire.

Minney - a variant derived from Mennell/Minnell found in parish registers of Long Buckby and Yardley Hastings, Northants occurring from 1600 to 1700 before finalising on Minney. One theory for the change from Minnell to Minney is that in Old French the stress was on the last syllable; Minn-ELL. When the surname became anglicised the stress moved to the first syllable; MINN-ell, at this point the surname became more English in pronunciation; MINNel. Since this would have made little sense and the 'll' is a weak sound easily lost, the alternative Minney grew up. The loss of the 'll' is more easily understood if the name holder moved, was illiterate, misheard by a clergyman who did not understand the dialect etc.

Minnich - German for monk

Minnie - as a South African surname. Derived as a nickname for Minnar from Mesnard (from Old French for inhabitant of a small house) according to one source but more likely to have come from Holland e.g.; Minnee. Also found in Canada and Scotland. The Canadian link may be to Scotland. Once a popular female first name. Also a common misspelling of Minney.

Minnigh - several references in IGI93 for USA & The Netherlands suggest it is of Dutch origin.

Minnoy - one or two found in Belgian telephone directories

Miny - an older misspelling of Minney, not common. Also found infrequently in the IGI for France and Prussia.

Minye - occurs in IGI93 Hungary.

Mooney - O'Maonaigh from Moenich = dumb, or Maonich = wealthy. Widely distributed. Co Sligo uses form Meeney. Meaney or Mainey is the Munster form. From Surnames of Ireland.