Recorded in a range of spellings including: Mingard, Mingaud, Mingauld, Mingot, Minger, Minget, Minguet and Mingasson, this is a French surname. It is regarded as a metronymic or mothers name, and derives as a short form of the pre 9th century female given name 'Ermengarde', a name of Germanic or Frankish origins, and translating literally as 'universal guardian'. This type of compound given name was very popular in the period of history known as 'The Dark Ages', prior to the introduction of hereditary surnames from about the 12th century. Metronymic surnames whilst by no means as popular as patronymics, are widely recorded. The reasons for the adoption are varied, but it is generally accepted that in ancient times women often held lands in their own name, perhaps because they were widows or they were more wealthy than their husbands. In time these possessions were passed on, usually to the eldest son, who then took on the mother's name as his surname. Examples of the surname recording taken from surviving early registers include: Jeanne Mingot, at St Pierre Andres, Maine et Loire, on Janaury 3rd 1679, Jeanne Mingaud, who married Pierre Mercier, at Le Que-de-Vellvire, Vendee, on July 1st 1706, and the Huguenot refugee recording in London of Pierre Antoine Mingauld, at the French church called Des Grecs, Westminster, on September 28th 1729.'
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