Found recorded as Menary, Memory, Minory, Minnory and Monary, this very unusual name is int fact habitational and describes a person who lived by "The Minnories". This was a religious house or monastery occupied by "Fratres Minores" (lesser brethren) i.e. Brothers who were particularly humble, and it was the term adopted by St. Francis of Assissi, to apply to his order. The destruction of the monasteries by Henry V111 in 1535 resulted in the loss of "the Minnories", although such a district existed in London for many centuries. Examples of the surname recording include John Minory and his wife Ann who were witnesses at the christening of their daughter, also Ann, at the Church of St. Olave, London on January 10th 1721 and John Menary, who married Mary Hitch at St. Dunstans church, Stepney, on August 8th 1858. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard Menory, which was dated February 13th 1654, christened at the church of St. Mary Whitechapel, London, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, "The Great Protector", 1649 - 1658. 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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