This unusual and intriguing name is of Old Norman French origin, introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066, and distinguished by being first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname Meanwell is one of the variant forms of the locational name derived from any of various places in France called "Mann(e)ville" or "Magneville". The former placename is derived from the Old Germanic personal name "Manno", with the Old French "ville", settlement, while Magneville derives from the Old French "magne", great, with "ville" as before. Geoffrey de Mandeville (deceased 1144), an English baron who was created Earl of Essex in 1141, was of a family originally from Manneville. Early examples of the surname include: Ernulf de Mandeuill, (1158, Wiltshire); William de Manevell (1210, Buckinghamshire); and William de Manwell (1296, Sussex). The modern surname has forms ranging from Mandeville and Manvill(e) to Manvell, Manwell and M(a)nwell. The christening of John, son of John and Ameleis Meanwell, was recorded in Horncastle, Lincolnshire, on May 8th 1672. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family depicts three silver hands couped in fesse on a red shield. The Crest is a red ram passant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Goisfridus de Manneuille, which was dated 1086, in the Domesday Book, Kent, during the reign of William 1, known as "William the Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. 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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