This unusual surname is of Scottish (Norman) origin, and is a patronymic, "son of Meinn", from the Gaelic "Mac", son of, with "Meinn", which, though apparently a male given name, is, in fact a Gaelicized form of "Menzies", itself a habitation name from Mesnieres in Seine-Maritime, France. Recorded in the early 13th Century as "Maneria", the place was so called from the Latin "manere", to remain, abide, reside. One Arketill de Mannvers witnessed a charter by William de Veteri Ponte to the Abbey of Holyrood before 1214, and a Robert de Meyners was created Great Chamberlain of Scotland circa 1217.The patronymic forms McMenzies, McMonnies, McMin(n) and McMyn represent adaptions of the name to the predominant patterns of Highland surnames. In 1658 John McMyne was servitor to Sir Adam Cunninghame of Woodhall, and in 1668, Margaret M'Min resided at Netherthird. On October 28th 1839, a son, John Finlay McAlister, was born to William McMinn and Margaret Cram in Crieff, Perthshire, Scotland. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Patrick M'Men, which was dated 1426, in the "Register of the Great Seal of Scotland", during the reign of King James 1 of Scotland, 1406 - 1437. 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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