Now spelt Monteath and Monteith, this is a famous and ancient Scottish surname. It is locational from an estate known as "The lands of Monteith" in Perthshire. The placename appears to have some French input, perhaps from Montillot in Haut-Saone, and this may well be so as many Norman-French knights were rewarded with lands in Scotland after the Conquest of England in 1066. It seems that prior to the Conquest there was an agreement between King Malcolm 1st of Scotland and William, Duke of Normandy, whereby William would not lay any claim to Scotland, and in return Scotland gave tacit support to William, as well as later providing lands for Norman knights in return for their military skills. What is certain is that the Monteith nameholders in the many different spellings appeared regularly in the charters and rolls of Scotland from 1237. In this year Malcolm de Maneteth was a charter witness, whilst in 1305 Colin de Mentaghe was a juror in Perth. In 1396 during a rare period of peace between England and Scotland, William of Mentegh, who had been given licence to travel into England, was arrested in the city of Norwich, for violating the truce. As to what his crime was is unclear, but a Scotsman just being there, might have been enough! The first recording in what can be called a modern spelling may be that of Thomas Monteith, a landowner in Glasgow in 1490.
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