Recorded in the two spellings of Monument and very occasionally Mournement, this is a rare English surname. It probably has French origins, and may well have been introduced by the Normans after the famous Conquest of 1066, as the same word in the same spelling is used in both countries and with the same meaning. It derives from the Latin word 'monumentum' meaning a building of commemoration. There are various places called Monument in both England and France, although the one in London, in memory of the Great Fire of London, was not completed until after 1673, by which time the surname had been in use for several hundred years! However there is or was a place so called in the Birmingham area of Warwickshire, and it is possible that the name may have originated from here. Certainly the earliest known recording is believed to be that of John de Monumenta, of the county of Gloucestershire. This is in the Hundred Rolls of landowners of the county in the year 1273. Although this spelling may appear to be French with a Latin suffix, it was just the manner in which clerics wrote the records. He was probably known to his friends and relatives as John Monument. An example of the surname recording taken from the surving church registers of the diocese of Greater London is that of Samuel Monument. He married Elizabeth Holmes at St Georges Chapel, Hanover Square, Westminster, in 1769.
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