This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from some minor, unrecorded, or now "lost" place called Mansbridge, believed to have been situated in London because of the high incidence of early surname recordings from that county. The component elements of the placename are the Olde English pre 7th Century male given name "Mann", cognate with the Old High German "man", used to denote a fierce or strong man, with the Olde English "brycg", Middle English "brigge", bridge; hence, "Man(n)'s Bridge". This initial element is also found in Manston, places in Dorset and Kent, recorded respectively as "Manestone" and "Mannestone" in the Domesday Book of 1086. Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. On September 3rd 1561, William, son of John Mansbridg, was christened at St. Mary Abchurch, London, on October 24th 1577, and John Mansbridge and Thomasin Winter were married at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London. A Coat of Arms granted to John Mansbridge, citizen and draper of London, in 1568, is a shield divided quarterly silver and green with four eagles displayed counterchanged. That now held by the Mansbridge families of London depicts four green eagles displayed with two heads on a shield divided quarterly silver and gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John Mansbrige, which was dated June 19th 1559, marriage to Ellin Wallis, at St. Margaret Moses, London, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1, known as "Good Queen Bess", 1558 - 1603. 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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