Manning Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Manning Meaning
surname in England is thought to have derived from the old Norse
word manningi, meaning “brave” or
“valiant.”  However, an early Manning family in
instead that their name had
come from the German place-name of Mannheim in Saxony.  
In Ireland the Gaelic surname of O’Mannin often
anglicized to Manning.
Select Manning Resources on The Internet

Manning Ancestry

Manning name had appeared in different forms in two main places in
England by the 13th century – in Kent in the southeast and in the
counties of
Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire in East Anglia.

Kent.  The first record of these
Mannings was
Stephen de Manning who was mentioned in deeds in Kent during the late
century.  They came in possession of
Downe Court during Tudor times.  Henry
Manning held a position at court as Marshal of the King’s Household
from the
reign of Henry VIII to that of Elizabeth.

A line of these Mannings moved to Greenwich
near London in the late 16th century.
Other Mannings remained at Kevington nearby until the 1750’s.

One descendant William Coventry Manning was a London West India merchant
and a planter in
St Kitts during the 18th century.  He
made his home at Copped Hall near Totteridge in Hertfordshire:

  • his son William,
    who joined his father’s firm in 1791, served as Governor of the Bank of
    in the early 1800’s and was an MP for more than thirty years.
  • his grandson
    ordained as an Anglican clergyman, became a
    leader of the Oxford Movement.  He was
    appointed the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster in 1865.

.  The name appeared in early times as Maninge
or Mannyng:

  • Henry
    Maninge appeared in the Hundred rolls of landowners in
    Cambridgeshire in 1273.
  • Robert
    Mannyng from Bourne in Lincolnshire was a
    Gilbertine monk at St. Edmund’s priory in Cambridge in the early 1300’s.  His history chronicle, Mannyng’s
    , was completed sometime in the 1330’s.
  • John
    Manning from Great Ellingham in Norfolk was mayor of Norwich in 1413.
  • while
    the will of John Maninge was recorded at Swaffham in Cambridgeshire in

Manning name had by this time spread southward to Suffolk, Essex and
London.  In the late 19th century the
largest number of Mannings were in London, followed by Suffolk and then

Manning name was first recorded in the village of Orlingbury in
Northamptonshire in 1673.   Owen
born there in 1721, was a clergyman and antiquarian who moved to Surrey
and came to be known as the historian of Surrey.

Ireland.  Manning
is the English version of a Galway family who were formerly chiefs of
Sodhan, a
district co-extensive with the barony of Tiaquin.  They
were a pre-Gaelic Sodhan race with roots
similar to the Picts of eastern Scotland.

O’Mainnín, the king of Sodhan, was mentioned in the Chronicon
as early as the year 1135.  The
O’Mainnins continued to form a distinct
clan until the early 1600’s, their chief residing at Menlough castle in
Killascobe parish. They lost their
estates at the time of Cromwell, had some of them restored during the
Restoration, but then lost everything when James II was defeated in

many of these O’Mainnins
became Mannion or Manning.  These names
from Galway into Roscommon. The name of Dennis O’Mainnin
from Kilbride in Roscommon was anglicized to Dennis Manning when he joined
or was press-ganged into the British navy in 1825.

Manning in
Ireland can also be an English implant, mostly found in Dublin and Cork.
Thomas Manning held the Rockfield estate in Dublin in the mid 18th
century.  A Manning family in the Dunmanway area of Cork dates
the early 1800’s.

came to both New England and Virginia in the 1630’s.

New England.  The earliest
Manning in America was probably
William Manning from Essex who came to Boston in 1634.
His son William was one of the founders of
Harvard College in the 1670’s.  It was
his son Samuel who acquired some 225 acres at Billerica wherehe built
family homestead, Manning Manse, in
1696.  Over the next hundred years or so,
Manning descendants had spread to Vermont, Connecticut, New York, and

Manning Manse deteriorated during the
19th century until it was acquired and restored by a Manning
William H. Manning, in 1902.  William H.
Manning was also the author of the 1902 book Manning
Families of New England
At that time it was estimated that there were some 4,000
descendants of
the original William Manning.

early Manning was Captain John Manning, a soldier in the British army,
who had
arrived in Boston in 1656. Eight years
later he was Commander at Fort Albany after the British had taken it
over from
the Dutch.  His Government granted him
the island adjacent to Manhattan in the East river now known as FDR
Island (it
was once called Manning’s island).  His
descendants settled in Piscataway, New Jersey.

Virginia.  John Manning
from Cambridgeshire came to Virginia in 1635 at the age of 20 with his
Thomas on the Globe from London.  John
and his wife Lydia made their home on
the eastern branch of the Elizabeth river in Norfolk county.

A line through Moses Manning moved south to
South Carolina and had received land grants in Georgia by the year 1800.  One
line from Moses extended to Drew, a small town in Mississippi where
Manning grew up in the 1950’s.  He became
a famous NFL quarterback; as were his two sons Peyton and Eli.  The family story was recounted in
2013 documentary The
Book of Manning

Irish arrivalsLaurence
came from Killarney to Pennsylvania and fought on the
American side
with General Lee’s Legion Infantry during the Revolutionary War.  His son Richard I. Manning, grandson John L.
and great grandson Richard I. Manning III all became Governors of South
Carolina.  John and his wife Susan had
their Millford plantation near Pinewood built in 1839.
The house survived destruction during the
Civil War and is now a National Historic Landmark.

Most Mannings from Ireland
arrived during the 19th century.  Among them were:

  • Michael
    and Elizabeth Manning from Cork who came in 1844 and settled in upstate
    New York, later moving onto Illinois and then Arkansas.
  • Patrick
    Manning from Galway who came to the Carolinas in 1849 and fought with
    the Confederacy in the Civil War.
  • and
    George and Bridget Manning from the Aran islands in Galway who came to
    Boston in the 1850’s.

Canada.  Peter Manning with
his wife Nancy and large
family came from Ireland via Philadelphia to Nova Scotia in 1770.  Six years later Peter was tried, convicted,
and hanged for murdering a neighbor.  His
third son Edward had a wild unruly childhood before, after a “Great
becoming a Baptist preacher of much force and persuasion.

arrived much later, in 1896, and from England.  His
son Ernest
, born and raised in a small farm on the Canadian
Prairies, rose to be the
long-serving Premier of Alberta – from 1943 to 1968.
Apparently it was the evangelical broadcasts
of future Premier William Aberhart which inspired him to follow that
path.  Ernest’s son Preston was the founder
leader of the Canadian Reform Party.

Australia.  John Manning, a baker, and
his wife Margaret were Irish immigrants from county Cork who came to
Darlinghurst, NSW in the 1840’s.  Their
son William prospered in finance in Sydney where he became mayor in
1891 and
was later knighted.

Henry Manning, a London builder, was in 1840 an early
landowner in the Swan river colony in Western Australia.
He in fact had designed the pre-fabricated
Manning timber cottages that were used by the first
settlers.  His younger brother Charles
came out to manage the estates in the early 1850’s.
John Daniel Manning came about this time too
and was a dairy farmer in the area.
Their name has been perpetuated in Manning, now a suburb of Perth.


Manning Miscellany

The Manning Family of Kent.  Some historians have made Mannheim in Germany the cradle of
this family.  They were said to have begun
their history
with Ranulph or Rudolph de Manning/Mannheim of the Palatine court who,
married Elgida, aunt to King Harold I of England, was granted lands in
Kent.  His grandson Simon de Manning went
off on a Crusade to the Holy Land with Richard the Lionheart
in the late 12th century.

The Mannings came into property in Kent twice through marriage:

  • first
    Bertrey castle through the marriage of William Manning and Joan de
    around the year 1320.  By 1405 these
    Mannings also
    owned land in Downe parish near Cudham.
  • and then Downe Court through the marriage
    of John Manning and Agnes Petley around the year 1510.

Downe Court was later
sold.  Other Mannings remained at Saint
Mary Cray and Kevington some five miles away.  The
following inscription for Richard Manning who died in 1605 and his
wife Rachel was found on a brass memorial in Downe church:

“Here Richard Manning lies, who
the son of the Mannings came
dwelt and died at Manning’s Hall old homestead to the name
Zealous of God’s
truth hating sin to honest men right kind
Housekeeper good and enjoyed
much to
welcome foe and friend
Good wife a helper fit he had
assisted with God’s grace
full ripe years he died and hath a blessed place.”

brass shows the family arms and motto
and records that Edward, the son of the last Manning buried in Downe,
died in
1622 at the age of 20, having been page to Prince Charles, later King
Charles I. 

Irish Manning Lore.  There is an old and well-founded tradition that all the Mannings in the world are
descended from a King of Ulster who ruled around the year 450.  This king was very wealthy and was called the
Maoin, which translates as riches or wealth.  The
clan of Maoin was said to have been
converted to the Catholic faith by Saint Patrick himself.

between the 10th and 13th centuries
many of these Maoins crossed the English Channel and settled in Kent.  According to English law, they were forced to
give their name an English form.  A number
Manning. Some of them, dazzled by
English gold, gave up their faith and soon advanced to a high position
in the
English nobility.

Laurence Manning During the Revolutionary War.  Laurence Manning
was born in Killarney in Ireland in 1757.
He had come to America with his widowed mother and settled in

He began his army career in the 2nd Canadian Regiment and was a
with that unit in late 1776.  He was
wounded and captured at the Battle of Staten Island in 1777, but was
back the
next year with his regiment as ensign and later as lieutenant.  In 1780 he was transferred to Harry Lee’s
Legion Infantry where he served until the end of the war.

painting of
Lieutenant Manning, which now hangs in Yale University Art Gallery,
him in a conventional blue army coat with red collars and facing and

After the War, he made his home in Sumter county, South Carolina
and married Susannah, the daughter
of General Richard Richardson.  Their son
Richard Irvine Manning became Governor of South Carolina.
Laurence Manning died in 1804.

Dennis Manning in the British Navy.  Dennis Manning had grown up in a poor Catholic tenant farming family in
Roscommon in the early 1800’s.  The family probably lived in a one roomed cabin built of mud and earth sods, the first two or three feet
being made of stone without mortar.  Potato was their staple

crop failures occurred in 1816 and again in 1822, resulting in much
starvation and death.  Dennis left this
blighted countryside, walking the hundred or so miles from Roscommon to
in search of a ship that would take him away.

He ended up in London where, in 1825, he was recruited or press-ganged
into the British navy.  It turned out
that he did not join the British navy to fight enemies abroad but to
combat nuisances
at home.  He became part of the crew of H.M.S. Hyperion, a wooden sailing
frigate carrying forty-two guns, as a landsman (probably at the time
the lowest
rank in the British navy).  The Hyperion
was stationed at Newhaven and
was part of the Sussex coast blockade to prevent smugglers landing and
disposing of their contraband goods on the south coast of England.

For three years he served as a sentinel on
this ship at Rye harbor on the mouth of the river Rother.
An incident in which he would probably have
been involved occurred in April 1826 when a galley with illegal spirits
board beached on the east hills at the entrance to Rye harbor and a
large body
of armed smugglers came over the sand hills .
An affray commenced between the smugglers and the blockade party.  The blockade party ultimately seized the
galley and fifteen tubs, but the smugglers escaped.

After three years he was discharged from the
navy and returned to London.

Ernest Manning’s Christian Awakening in the Canadian Prairies.  According to his son Preston:

Christmas, Ernest and his brother Bill assembled a three-tube radio set
had ordered through a mail-order catalogue.  Listening to the
radio my father
became acquainted with the religious radio ministry of William
Aberhart, a high
school principal and Christian layman in Alberta.  Aberhart was a
pioneer in the
use of radio to communicate Christian teaching.  His broadcasts
were heard
across western Canada in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

As a
result of listening to Aberhart, my father decided to leave the
farm in 1927 to study at the Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute,
training school.  He was the school’s
first graduate and became Aberhart’s assistant.

Had he not bought that old tube radio or
listened to William
Aberhart’s broadcasts, the political landscape of Alberta and indeed
Canada may
well have been very different.” 

The Book of Manning.  Archie Manning was born and grew up in the small town
of Drew, Mississippi in the 1950’s.  His
father Buddy worked at a farm equipment store and his mother was a

the SEC documentary The Book of Manning
screened in 2013, the story of Archie and his wife Olivia was told – how they met and fell in love at Ole Miss, the folk hero quarterback and the homecoming queen.

it is also a story of how
their three boys – Cooper, Peyton and Eli – followed in their dad’s
and signed to play football in the SEC.
Two of the boys became NFL star quarterbacks who won Super
Bowls, Peyton
with the Indianapolis Colts in 2006 and Eli with the New York Giants in
2007.  The Book of Manning utilized a trove of Manning
home movies from their childhood to give an insider’s look at how both
and Eli’s on-field personalities were shaped.

The film also went a little deeper
into some of the family’s darker times, including the suicide of Archie
Manning’s father Buddy in 1969 when he was a 19-year-old star
quarterback at
Ole Miss and the life-threatening spinal condition that ended Cooper
collegiate career.



Manning Names

  • Robert Mannyng was the author of Mannyng’s Chronicle, an early English history, in 1338. 
  • Thomas Manning was the first Englishman to enter the forbidden city of Lhasa in Tibet in 1811.
  • Cardinal Henry Manning was a leading Anglican figure of the Oxford Movement in early Victorian times
    who later converted to Catholicism.  He became the Catholic Archbishop of Westminster in 1865. 
  • Archie Manning was a star American NFL quarterback in the 1970’s and 1980’s and father of two star quarterbacks, Peyton and Eli Manning. 
  • Patrick Manning was Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago for thirteen years between 1991 and 2010.

Select Manning Numbers Today

  • 20,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in London)
  • 28,000 in America (most numerous in Florida)
  • 18,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)




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