Recorded as Manning and the patronymic Mannings, this is an English surname but one of pre 7th century Norse Viking origins. According to the famous Victorian etymologist Canon Charles Bardsley writing in the year 1880, it derives from 'maningi,' a word which translates as valiant or strong. The name is preserved in such towns as Manningford or Manningtree. This seems to be the correct interpretation and this would seem to be confirmed by one of the earliest recordings of Henry Maninge of Cambridgeshire, in the Hundred Rolls of land owners of that county in 1273. Other early examples of the surname recordings taken from surviving church registers of the diocese of Greater London include: the christening of Johan, the daughter of Launcelot Manning, on January 14th 1564, at St. Mary Magdalene, and the christening of Katherine, the daughter of William Mannings, on September 6th 1570, at St. Mary Aldermary. Thomas Manning (1772 - 1840) was considered the first Chinese scholar in Europe and was the first Englishman to enter Lhasa, the holy city of Tibet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Ainulf Manning. This was dated 1190, in the Pipe Rolls of Kent, during the reign of King Richard 1st of england, and known as "Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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