The ancient Latin word 'Dominicus' meaning 'lord' is the origination of this famous surname, of which it is estimated that there are at least two hundred and fifty forms. Amongst the most popular are Dominique (France), Domerq (Provencal), Domenico, Dominelli (Italy), and there is hardly a country in the Western Hemisphere which has not provided its own variants. As such it is not easy or even practical in many cases to follow the international and/or national spelling changes. All we can say is that they started in the medieval period and continued for some three hundred years until the 17th century when fixed spellings were fully established across most of Europe. These included patronymics, cognates, diminutives, and perhaps most commonly - short or nickname forms. It is said that the Spanish St. Dominicus (1170 - 1221) in forming the Dominican order of monks greatly increased its popularity, and no doubt it was a PC thing in those days to name one's son after such a famous saint. What we have established is that in the short or nickname forms - Menico and Minigo as examples, are Italian, whilst Mingus is apparently of Germanic but possibly of Slavic origin from Domingo. Considering that this surname in all its forms was so closely associated with the Roman Catholic Church, it comes as a surprise to find that in the 17th and 18th centuries it was very involved with the Protestant cause. This is usually known as the Huguenot when involving France, but in Germany where similar atrocities were committed against the Protestants, they were apparently known as the Palatinate. It seems that in the early 18th century there was a mass exodus of Palatinate followers to New York city which included a family called Mingus. Here they are recorded as a founding family in 1710, and there has been a recent book with their full history. The first proven recording of the surname in any spelling is believed to be that of Dominicus de Buketon in the 'Feet of Fines' tax rolls for the county of Derbyshire, England, in the year 1326. This was during the reign of King Edward 11nd (1307 - 1327) known as 'Edward of Caernavon'.
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