Recorded in the spellings of Minor, Minors, Miner, Miners, the French Huguenot Minier, and its possible variant Minear, this is an English surname of French origins. It was introduced into England after the 1066 Norman Invasion, and again in the 17th century for religious reasons. It could be described as occupational, being from the 8th century word "mineur", and as such a metonymic or nickname for a builder of tunnels and pits. The English equivalent surname is probably Pitts or Petts, a digger of pitts. There is also some confusion with the Roman (Latin) word "minor" meaning lesser, which in medieval times and later, was often applied to a younger son, as "major" was to the elder son. Although the very earliest recordings of this surname are almost certainly occupational, later versions may well refer to a relationship. Where the surname is recorded with the suffix "s", this implies the patronymic "son of Miner". Early examples of surname recordings include Adam Le Miner, in the 1212 Curia Regis Rolls of Lincoln, whilst Henry le Minr, appears in the 1234 Pipe Rolls of Derbyshire. John le Minour is recorded in the wills of the town of Hastings, Sussex, in the year 1275, whilst Richard Minnour, appears in the 1273 rolls of Somerset. Later recordings include Easter Minor, baptised at St James church, Clerkenwell, in 1600, and James Miner, who married Elizabeth Borrowes at St Georges chapel, Hanover Square, London, in 1760. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Jordan le Mineur, which was dated 1195 in the Pipe Rolls of Cornwall, during the reign of King Richard 1st of England, known as "The Lionheart", 1189-1199.
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