Recorded as Mingay, Mingey, Mingaye and Myngay (England), and Menguy (France), this is a surname of French and specifically Breton origins. It derives from the pre 7th century words 'men' meaning stone, and 'ki', a dog, and was originally a popular personal name. It is claimed that it was introduced into England in 1066 by followers of Duke William of Normandy, but this is open to question. It is a surname found almost entirely in the county of Norfolk, and even more specifically, the city of Norwich, where it is particularly associated with St Stephens and St Edmunds churches. As to when it was first recorded in Norfolk is not clear. The surviving church registers give a date of 1549, when Elizabeth Myngay was christened at St Stephens. There is little doubt that land or property charters exist which may give an earlier date. Because of the close association with Norwich, we are inclined to believe that this is a name connected with the early textile industry. In medieval times this was largely based upon Norwich, and many skilled workers were brought in from the continent to help establish the manufacturing. Other early examples of the surname recording are: Alice Mingay, who married John Piece at St Edmunds church, Norwich, on July 8th 1565, and Henry Myngaye, who was a witness at St Stephens, Norwich, on July 16th 1619.
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