This interesting surname is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. The surname derives from the Old French personal name "Mainard", "Meinard", ultimately from the Old Germanic "Maganhard", "Meginard", composed of the elements "magin", strength, with "hard", hardy, brave, strong; hence, "strength-strong". "Meinardus", (without surname) is noted in the Domesday Book of Norfolk (1086). Thomas filius (son of) Meinard is listed as a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Lincolnshire (1202). The surname is first recorded in the late 12th Century (see below), and can also be found as Mainerd. An English family called Maynard trace their descent from Sir Richard Maynarde of Kirklevington, Yorkshire, who fought at Agincourt in 1415. On November 17th 1539, Elizabeth Maynard married Richard Reve at St. Pancras, Soper Lane, London, and John, son of Thomas Maynard, was christened on November 23rd 1542, at Harefield, London. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was Elizabeth Maynard (22 years), who departed from the Port of London bound for Virginia, aboard the "Primrose" in July 1635. A Coat of Arms granted to the Maynard family is a silver shield with a red chevron between three red sinister hands couped at the wrist, the Crest being a stag trippant proper, attired and unguled gold. The motto "Manus justa nardus" translates as "A just hand is a precious ointment". The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Mainard, which was dated 1195, in the "Pipe Rolls of Suffolk", during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "Richard the Lionheart", 1179 - 1199. 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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