This name, widespread in England, Sweden, Denmark and Norway, derives from the Scandinavian personal name Magnus. One, Magnus the Good, who died in 1047 was King of Norway. The name spread from Norway to Scandinavia and reached England at the time of the Norman Conquest 1066. A Magnus de Weitecroft is recorded in, The Social and Economic Documents of London C. 1100. This Olde Norse name means 'great'. It was first recorded as a surname in the early eleven hundreds. In the modern idiom the name has four spelling variations: Magnus, Manus, with the patronymic form Magnusson and the Scottish McManus. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Magnus which was dated C. 1114 - The Burton Chartulary of Staffordshire during the reign of King Henry 1 The Administrator 1100-1135 Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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