This rare surname has two possible origins, both French. It may be locational and derive from the pre 10th Century "moncel" meaning a hillock, and found in the placenames Monchaux (Seine-Inferieure) and Monceaux (Calvados), or it may be an Anglicization of the title or form of address "Monsieur", used as a late medieval nickname for a Frenchman. The latter form is also found in the surnames Monsur, Muncher, Mounser, Mancher and Menser, and the dating of the early recordings is the Huguenot period, from approximately 1540 to 1760. The earliest recording in any spelling form is probably that of Agnes Mounser, who married one William Corkar at St. Stephen's Church, Coleman Street, London, on June 19th 1558. The name is also recorded as Mounseire (1684); Monsieur (1688), and Mouncher (1712), see below, whilst Mancher is found later, in 1770. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Mouncher, which was dated February 24th 1712, marriage to Thomas Yard, at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, London, during the reign of Queen Anne, known as "The Last Stuart Monarch", 1702 - 1714. 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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