This interesting surname, with variant spellings Mynor, Miner, Minor, etc., derives from the Old French "mine" meaning mine or the Gaelic "mein" ore. It was an occupational name for someone who built mines, either for the excavation of coal and other minerals, or as a technique in the medieval art of siege warfare. The surname is chiefly found in Cornwall, where there were extensive tin mines. One Jordan le mineur, is noted in the 1195 Pipe Rolls of Cornwall. Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation and later became hereditary. The surname first appears in the early 13th Century (see below). Henry le Minur, is noted in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls, Derbyshire (1224), and Benedict le Mineur, appears in the 1249 Close Rolls. Recordings of the surname from the Cornwall Church Registers include; the christening of Barbara Myner, which took place on November 1st 1612, at St. Enoden's and the marriage of Joan Myner and Richard Bonnell took place on November 28th 1584, at St. Mabyn. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts three plates between a silver fess on a red shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Adam le Miner, which was dated 1212, in the "Curia Regis Rolls of Lincolnshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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