Recorded as MacMenzies, McMenzies, Menzies and the dialectals McMonies, McMonnies and McMinnies, this is a famous Scottish clan surname. However it is actually French in origin, from a Norman knight of the 11th century called de Meyners from the French town of Mesniers. The place name translates as the place of residence. William the Conqueror received help from Scotland in his Conquest of 1066 and in consequence a large number of Norman-French nobles and knights received land grants in Scotland. In England the name is Manners, the family name of the Dukes of Rutland. The name became prominent in Scotland in the 13th century when Robert de Meyners was appointed Great Chamberlain of Scotland in the year 1224, by King Robert 1st. Other early recordings include David De Meyness, a knight, and a member of the Queen of Scotland's retinue in 1248, whilst Robert de Mesnere, was supporter of King Henry 111 of England in 1255. The change to the (near) modern form of Menzies is first recorded in 1385 when Alexander de Meinzeis held a charter of lands in Durisdeer. As McMonies the name is 17th century when John M' Monies also known as McMinnies, is recorded at Carlinwark. The book of Menzies written in 1894 claimed descent from King Fergus in 333 B.C. This is a total fable, although it has long been held up as the truth. The Menzies have no need of such rubbish, their success stands for itself. Amongst the many famous name holders is Sir Robert Menzies, (1894 - 1978), the Australian Prime Minister in 1939 - 1941 and again in 1949 - 1966. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Arketil de Mannvers, which was dated 1214, and recorded at the Abbey of Holyrood, Scotland. This was during the reign of King Alexander 11 of Scotland, 1214 - 1249.
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