This most interesting and unusual surname is of Scottish locational origin from the lands of Mennie, in Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire. The surname is found mainly as Meanie and Mennie in Aberdeenshire, particularly in Banchory-Devenick, and the placename itself is found in 1696 as "Menie". The surname may also however be an English variant of "Meany", itself the Anglicized form of the Gaelic (Irish) "O'Maonaigh", composed of the Gaelic prefix "O", male descendant of, and a personal name composed of "maonach", rich, wealthy, and is now found as Meany, Meaney and Mainey, in Counties Clare and Kilkenny. Early recordings of the surname include the marriage of Margrat Mainy and Alexander Simmer on January 14th 1627 at Old Machar, Aberdeenshire; the marriage of John Mennie and Margret Gordon on July 24th 1692 at Kildrummy, Aberdeenshire; and the marriage of Augustus Minney and Mary Rich on January 27th 1698 in London. William Meanie was sergeant in the city guard of Edinburgh at the execution of Andrew Wilson, the Pittenweem smuggler in 1736, while one William Minie was a member of the Gartly Company of Volunteers in 1798. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Janet Mainie, which was dated November 24th 1626, marriage to Walter Lighton, at Old Machar, Aberdeenshire, during the reign of King Charles 1, known as "The Martyr", 1625 - 1649. 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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