Maynard Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Maynard Meaning
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.
Select Maynard Resources on The Internet

Maynard Ancestry

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,
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

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,
  • the Maynards of
    Mayfield in East Sussex were Puritan but paid for their
    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
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.

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 Maynard’s
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
  • 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,
  • and the Maynards of Springfield,
    Vermont (from whence came Doc Maynard, founding father of the city of

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
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
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 Descendants)
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

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
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
.  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
became a wealthy local landowner.  His home
of Maynardville in Cape Town now functions as an Open-air theater on
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.”


Maynard Miscellany

Reader Feedback – Maynard at Mont St. Michel.  I have come across the Maynard surname and its association with Mont St. Michel in
France.  Father Maynard I, the first Abbot of Mont Saint-Michel in
Normandy sent by Richard, Duke of Normandy, established a Benedictine
on Mont Saint-Michel and started the important activity of collecting
copying books before printing was invented.

Sharlene Heard (

Sir Henry Maynard at Little Easton in Essex.  Sir Henry Maynard was secretary to Lord Burghley during
Elizabethan times and became, through a judicious marriage and steady
accumulation, a substantial landowner.  He died in 1610 and was
buried in Little Easton church in Essex.

His epitaph there reads:

“Here resteth, in assured hope to
rise in Christ, Henry Maynard, knight, descended from the ancient
family of Maynard in the county of Devon, and Dame Susan his wife,
daughter and one of the co-heirs of Thomas Pierson esq. to whom she
bore eight sons and two daughters.  He ended this life on May 11,
1610, his lady, six sons and two daughters still living.”

It was apparently his father John who left Devon for St.
Albans in Hertfordshire.  He represented this borough as an MP in
the 1550’s.  Sir Henry’s eldest son William became the first Lord

Robert Maynard, The Slayer of Blackbeard.  Robert Maynard was the captain in the Royal Navy who
caught up with the pirate Blackbeard at Ocracoke inlet off the coast of
North Carolina on November 22, 1718.  During the skirmish
Blackbeard boarded Maynard’s ship but was ambushed.  He and
Maynard ended up in a duel and Blackbeard was killed and beheaded by
Maynard.  The city of Hampton in Virginia still celebrates this
event every June in its Tall Ships festival.

Maynard himself is believed to be buried back in England
in St. Martin’s church at Great Mongeham near Deal in Kent.  The
plaque there reads as follows:

“To the memory of Captain Robert Maynard,
Faithful and experienced Commander in the Royal Navy,
who after he had distinguished himself by many brave and gallant acts
in the service of his King and country
????? to this place where he died ????? 1750, aged 67.”

Others think that Maynard may have stayed in
America.  There is an oral tradition that he was the father of the
four Maynard brothers who grew up in North Carolina in the late 1700’s.

Another story says that Robert Maynard had been a pirate himself and
later reverted to piracy again.  Here he lived in the Caribbean
until the British caught him and hung him from the gallows for

The Maynards as Cattle-Breeders.  Maynard’s farm (now the Grange) was at Eryholme in north Yorkshire by
the river Tees.  They were cattle-breeders and would
send out eight bullocks to the Darlington market every March.
According to
the following account, these Maynards were instrumental in the
development of the short-horn breed of cattle.

“It is generally considered that the foundation of the
pure-bred Short-horn breed dates from an eventful day in 1785 when Mr.
and Mrs. Charles Colling, together with Charles’ brother Robert,
journeyed to Eryholme to visit their friends the Maynards.  John
Maynard had firmly refused to part with the grand cow Old Favourite and her heifer calf Young Strawberry, but was later
persuaded by his wife to sell both to Mrs. Colling.

The cow, later renamed Lady Maynard,
was bred to Foljambe and produced the heifer Phoenix.  The dam of the
closely inbred bull Favourite
sired the still more closely inbred Comet,
this last-named sire securing a permanent place in the history of
cattle-breeding when he became the breed’s first one thousand guineas
bull.  Today the Short-horn Society has in its possession one of
this noted bull’s ribs.”

Maynard, Massachusetts.  The town was named after Amory
Maynard, a sixth generation descendant of John Maynard the immigrant.  He had bought the water rights to the Assabet
river, installed a dam, and erected a large carpet mill there in 1847.  Amory was in charge of the mill until 1885
when, because of illness, he handed over responsibility to his son

There was an attempt in 1902 to
change the town’s name from Maynard to Assabet.
Some townspeople were upset that Amory Maynard had not left the
town a
gift before he died in 1890.  More were
upset that Lorenzo had withdrawn his own money from the mill before it
bankrupt in 1898.  But the state of
decided to keep the name as Maynard.

After the woolen mill finally shut down in
1950, local businessmen bought the property and began leasing it as
office or
manufacturing space.  Digital Equipment
Corporation (DEC) moved into the complex in 1957, later making Maynard
worldwide headquarters.  Maynard got the
nickname of “mini-computer capital of the world.”

There are no Maynards living in Maynard today.
However, the Maynard crypt is a prominent
feature of the local Glenwood cemetery.

Reader Feedback – Henry Maynard of Maryland.  I am a descendant of the person named Henry Maynard who settled in Anne Arundel county, Maryland in
about 1701/2.  The
only confirmed
piece of his identity comes from when he first purchased his 518 acres
property in Maryland.  On that record of
sale he identified himself as “a merchant of London.”  Henry
was my 5th great

The most authoritative account of Henry and his immediate descendants
appeared in an article published in the December 1960 issue of theQuarterly
Journal of the
National Geneaological Society
Written by John Frederick Dorman, The Maynard Family of
Frederick County, MD
provided an account of the first two
generations of
descendants of Henry and Sarah Maynard of Anne Arundel county.

account of Henry Maynard and his descendants
appeared in a lengthy article in the September 18, 1904 edition of the Baltimore
That article included background about the
Maynard family of Easton Court in Essex — suggesting by inference that
Maynard may have descended from that family.

I have been able to locate the last will and
testament of Sir Henry Maynard, son of Charles Maynard and brother of
1st Baronet Maynard.  I had hoped to prove that he was the father
of my Henry
Maynard.   From the evidence in his
will, my
conclusion is that he was not.

Having also reviewed all of the other male descendants of Sir Henry’s
grandfather Sir Henry Maynard, I am coming to the conclusion that Henry
of Anne Arundel must have come from some other Maynard lineage.
That was
the mystery that my late father willed to me — and it seems like one
that is
pretty daunting to solve without some new clues.

My line from Henry Maynard runs as follows:
– Henry Maynard who married Sarah Hopkins
— Thomas Maynard who married Ann Wright
— Thomas Maynard Jr. who married Sarah Beatty
—- Ezra Maynard who married Hannah Robertson
—– Nathan Maynard who married Mary Messinger

Ezra moved from Maryland to Indiana and later to Ohio; Nathan from Ohio
to Iowa and then via the Oregon Trail to Oregon.  After Nathan’s
untimely death in a wagon accident in 1871 his wife Mary and twelve
children eventually moved
to the Colton, Washington area.  Later the ranches there were all
sold and their descendants dispersed.

line of the family became separated from that Maynard clan following my
grandfather’s death from appendicitis in 1935.  By the time my
late father
began researching our ancestry in the late 1980’s, he was only able to
connections with a few distant cousins. As I continue the search, every
now and
then I discover and connect with another distant Maynard cousin.

Steve Maynard (

Reader Feedback – Maynards in North Carolina.  I am a serious researcher of the Maynard surname, and I am especially focused on connecting
YDNA of closely related Maynard men who were in North Carolina at
the time
of the Revolutionary War.  Technical results can be found at the
following URL Family Tree DNA – Maynard North Carolina

related Maynard men populated the North Carolina colony before
the Revolutionary War, especially in Wake County and Wilkes
County.  Five
lines of Maynard have been linked via YDNA tests of multiple lines
of descendants.
James, Gibson, and Christopher Maynard attended the
Old Roaring River Baptist Church and they show up on the same tax lists
1800.  They
are probably brothers.  Very closely related to them by YDNA were
Maynard of Wake County,
North Carolina and
William Maynard of Pike County, Kentucky.

Ward Maynard (

Edward Maynard, Dentist and Firearms Innovator.  Edward Maynard from Madison county in New York was a
renowned American dentist of his day.  He
was probably the first to fill the nerve cavity of the tooth with
gold.  In 1845, he was offered the position of court dentist by
Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, which he declined; and from
1857 until his death in 1891, he was the professor of the theory and
practice of dentistry at the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery.

that was not the only string to his bow.  Edward Maynard
had wanted to be a soldier, but could for health reasons.  He
became instead a leading firearms innovator.  Over the course of
his life, Maynard was awarded 23 firearms related patents.  He is
best known for his first invention, the Maynard tape primer which was
fitted to US model 1855 muskets.

Maynard’s rifle
patent of 1851 would, in the end, prove far more long lasting than his
priming system.  His simple and effective single shot rifle was
operated by a lever which, when depressed, opened the breech for
loading by raising the barrel.  After insertion of a cartridge,
raising the lever closed the gun’s breech.  The loaded rifle was
then cocked and primed by placing a cap on its nipple or simply cocked
so that its Maynard priming system advanced a primer atop the
nipple.  Many of the features of this early rifle were adaptable
and incorporated into the later model 1873 rifle.

Early Maynard Wills in Barbados

Charles Maynard 1697 will proven
Nicholas Maynard 1707 will proven (St. Michael’s
Samuel Maynard 1722 will proven (St. Michael’s

Clement T. Maynard in Nassau.  Clement Maynard was a building contractor who had
migrated to the Bahamas from Barbados after having worked in Panama and
Cuba.  He wanted an easier life than the hard work of building
construction.  As he grew older, he used his savings to open two
small dry goods stores in Nassau, one on the wharf close to cruise
ships arriving from around the world and another on Mackey Street not
far from where he lived.  The next step was to attract customers
to his stores.  He decided upon a way to do so.

Clement had a gift for choosing store names.  He called the store
at Mackey Street Jehovah Jireh,
meaning “God provides” and the one on the wharf was emblazoned with the
sign Pro Nobis painted on the
roof which could be seen from the cruise ships as they docked.  Pro Nobis was the shortened form of
the expression Sic Deus pro nobis,
quis contra nos?
– meaning “if God is for us, who can be against

Countless people, their curiosity piqued, would enter one or other of
the stores and ask what its strange name meant.  They would often
buy something in order to induce a full and willing answer which he was
quite happy to oblige.

Clement’s son Clement was one of the founding fathers of independent

James Maynard and Napoleon’s Gates.  In 1841 the remains of Napoleon were exhumed from his grave at St.
Helena and moved to Les Invalides in Paris.  James Maynard then
bought the gates that guarded the St. Helena tomb and had them shipped
to Cape Town to be placed on the driveway to his estate.  The
willow grove at Maynardville was cultivated from cuttings taken from
trees surrounding the tomb.

The gates remained at Maynardville for a hundred years, after which
time they were returned to Helena to be restored to the original site.



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 defenses 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 Maynard Numbers 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).


Select Maynard and Like Surnames.

The Norman Conquest brought new rulers to England and they brought their names and language, a form of French, with them.  Over time their names became less French and more English in character.  Thus Hamo became Hammond, Reinold Reynolds and Thierry Terry and so forth.  The names Allen, Brett, Everett, and Harvey were probably Breton in origin as Bretons also arrived, sometimes as mercenaries.

The new Norman lords often adopted new last names, sometimes from the lands they had acquired and sometimes from places back in Normandy.  Over time the name here also became more English.  Thus Saint Maur into Seymour, Saint Clair into Sinclair, Mohun into Moon, and Warenne into Warren.

Here are some of these Norman and Breton originating names that you can check out.




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