Select Maynard Surname Genealogy

The surname Maynard is of Norman origin, introduced into England after the Conquest in 1066.  It derived from the old French personal name mainard, from the elements magin meaning "strength" and hard, "hardy" or "brave."

Maynard or Mainard who died in 991 was the first abbot of Mont St. Michel in Normandy.  The name appeared in England for the first time in the Domesday Book of 1086.    

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Select Maynard Ancestry

England.  The first Maynards were probably Norman in origin.  There appears to have been an early Maynard presence in Kent.  Maynard's hospital in Canterbury was founded in 1317 by a man named Mayner or Maynard (and known popularly as Mayner the rich).  John Mainard of Axminster, described as a "servant of the Black Prince," was a warden of Brest castle in France and provided equipment for the English fleet in 1360 during the war with France. 

SW England  Maynards at Sherford in Devon date from about 1480.  Two John Maynards from this family were prominent as MP's during the Commonwealth and Restoration period, one, a Puritan, being ejected from his office in 1662.  A Forster Maynard branch sprung up in Melton, Cornwall.  The Maynard name was also to be seen in Stratton, Cornwall and in Corston, Somerset. 

SE England  But Maynard has been more a name of SE England.  Sir Henry Maynard established his family at Little Easton in Essex during Elizabethan times.  Later Maynards were London merchants and public benefactors in Walthamstow. 

Maynards were also to be found in Kent and Sussex:
  • John Maynard was born in Glassenbury in Kent in 1511.  The Maynard name subsequently cropped up in Kentish places such as Cranbrook, Hawkhurst, and Sandhurst. 
  • the Maynards of Mayfield in East Sussex were Puritan but paid for their allegience.  William Maynard was burnt at the stake in 1556 and the Rev. John Maynard was deprived of his living after the Restoration in 1662.  In later times, Isaac Maynard from Shoreham in Sussex was a steward on the Titanic and one of the lucky few who survived.
Yorkshire  There is a Maynard outpost as well in north Yorkshire.  An English family called Maynard were said to have plotted their descent from the Sir Richard Maynarde of Kirklevington who fought at Agincourt in 1415. 

Other Maynards have been traced back to the 16th century.  A Maynard family from Eryholme were cattle-breeders who set themselves up as gentry in Harlsey Hall.  Maynards came also from Wass in Kilburn parish.  Joan Maynard from Thirsk was a Labor activist and an MP from 1974 to 1987.

Portugal.  Thomas Maynard, a merchant from Devon, was appointed the first English Consul to Portugal by Oliver Cromwell in 1656.  He held the post until his death in Lisbon in 1692.  A Protestant, he was briefly imprisoned during the Inquisition. 

His brother Walter, a merchant in Oporto, made one of the earliest shipments of port to England. 
His name was passed down in the Portuguese form Manarte. He is believed to have been the ancestor of later port-making families.  His name has been preserved in the Maynardís port brand name.

America.  The patriarch of the Maynards in Massachusetts is John Maynard from Hertfordshire.  He arrived in 1638, settled in Sudbury, and was one of the founding fathers of Marlborough.  Among his descendants were:
  • Amory Maynard of Maynard, Massachusetts
  • the three Maynard brothers who moved to Madison county, New York in the 1790's.  This was where the inventor Edward Maynard was born
  • the Maynards of Ellington, Connecticut
  • and, more distant, the Maynards of Union county, South Dakota (where Solomon Maynard had gone from Minnesota in 1868).
Possibly related were:
  • the Maynards of East Haddam, Connecticut
  • and the Maynards of Springfield, Vermont (from whence came Doc Maynard, founding father of the city of Seattle).
Other Maynards  Henry Maynard had arrived in Maryland around 1701 and established himself at Proctor's Park in Anne Arundel county.  His son Thomas moved to a new estate in the Linganore hills of Frederick county.  Some of his descendants were still to be found there in the early 1900's.  Others had moved west.   

A number of Maynards came to North Carolina during the 1700's - although possibly not Robert Maynard, the slayer of Blackbeard off its shores.  William Maynard settled in Wilkes county, North Carolina in the 1740's.  Three of his sons moved onto Tennessee in 1790 and then to Kentucky in 1810.  And there were many Maynards in North Carolina by the time of the Revolutionary War.

James Maynard was a Revolutionary war soldier in Virginia and his descendants (traced in Paul E. Dyer's 1986 book James Maynard of Virginia and Descendents) are to be found today in West Virginia and Kentucky. James Maynard was recorded as being 107 years old in the 1850 census of Wayne county, West Virginia; and his son Isaac, known as Chaine, lived to be 87. 

Caribbean.   The Maynards date from the early 1700's on the tiny island of Nevis.  They and the Huggins were the two big sugar producers on the island.  They were slaveowners and apparently hard men (Walter Maynard shot John Huggins in a duel in 1822).  The last of the line, when the New River plantation closed its doors in the 1940's, was Norman Maynard. 

There are still many Maynards on the island today - including John Maynard the cricketer, known as "the dentist," and Konris Maynard, four-time winner of the national calypso show.

Maynard also figured from an early time as a name in Barbados and was then brought to the Bahamas by Clement Maynard.  His son was one of the founding fathers of an independent Bahamas.

South Africa.  Levi and Sarah Maynard arrived in Cape Colony from Bedfordshire in 1820.  Their son James Maynard became a wealthy local landowner.  His home of Maynardville in Cape Town now functions as an Open-air theater on the lines of the Open-air theater in London.

Australia.  The Maynard name figures most prominently in Australia among the Aboriginal community.  Part of this is due to Fred Maynard, the mixed-race son of an English father and a native-born wife.  Fred launched the Australian Aboriginal Progressive Association in the 1920's and was an early advocate of Aborigine rights. 

Maynard is also a name among the Aborigine Bass Strait island community in Tasmania.  The photographer Ricky Maynard who comes from these roots uses native culture in his work.

"We are a forgotten people in a way and within this country we are not paid our due respect as indigenous people of this land.  It's through conveying strong and simple powerful images that we are reminded of the way we tell our stories."
Select Maynard Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Maynard Names

Captain Robert Maynard
was famous for defeating and beheading the pirate Blackbeard off the coast of North Carolina in 1718.
Edward Maynard was a prominent 19th century American firearms inventor and later one of its leading dentists.
Constance Maynard, educator and feminist, was the first head of Westfield College in London, from 1882 to 1913.
Major Forster Maynard from Cornwall was a top scoring air ace during World War I and helped organize the defences of Malta during World War II.
Joan Maynard was a Labor activist from north Yorkshire and an MP from 1974 to 1987.
Robert Maynard, born of an immigrant family from Barbados, was a prominent American newspaper publisher in the 1970's and 1980's.

Select Maynards Today
  • 8,000 in the UK (most numerous in Essex)
  • 13,000 in America (most numerous in Ohio).
  • 8,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada).

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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