Recorded as Mainston, Mainstone, Manston and Manstone, this is an English locational surname. It orginates from any or all of the several villages called Manston in the counties of Kent, Yorkshire and Dorset. According to the Dictionary of English place names, the probable meaning of this place name is 'Mann's farm' from the pre 7th century Olde English personal name 'Mann,' although an alternative is 'gemaena tun' which may mean the farm of the tenants. Manston in Dorset seems to be the oldest place with a recording in the famous Domesday Book of 1086. Locational surnames such as this one, were usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original homes to move somewhere else. However spelling over the centuries being at best indifferent, and local dialects very thick, lead to the creation of 'sounds like' forms. In this case the surname is well recorded in the city of London from at least Stuart times. Examples of these recordings taken from surviving church registers include John Mainstone and his wife Mary, who were christening witnesses at St Nicholas church, Cole Abbey, on July 17th 1645, Augustillo Mainstone who married Sophia Keell at St Martins in the Field, Westminster, on October 4th 1701, Jospeh Manston, who was christened at Endell Street lying in hospital, on March 18th 1753.
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