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About the study
The History and origin of the name Mammatt
I have now finished my study and written a book the information on which can be seen:
Extract from the Preface of the book
There may be many reasons why one undertakes a one name study, but one thing is certain, you will never know where it will lead you. Like many people, I started mine because I hit a brick wall with my sixth great grandfather, Rowland Mammat/Mammock. At that time, like many others, I thought the instances of the name were very few, and that the names Meymott, and also Memmott, which popped up in my online searches, were in fact different names altogether. This was not to be the case, and my tiny study turned into a huge task, but not insurmountable. The journey it took me on was completely fascinating, eventually leading me back to the 1300s in Eckington, Derbyshire. I was led, as if like a child, where it took me, not knowing what piece of history, area of the country or world I would need to investigate to try and understand the lives of the people who bore those names. My thoughts were always full of their stories and I tried to imagine what it would have been like to be them. The ancestors in my direct line of course sparked the biggest emotional ties. I became obsessed by them; their tireless energy, drive, and bravery but also their tragedies, that they could not see coming.
The story led me from the feudal system, to shoemakers, wealthy landowners and entrepreneurs, vicars (one who died in a debtors prison), lawyers (one who went to prison), to the English Civil War, the Industrial Revolution, Napoleonic Wars and the American pioneers. There was a vagabond, cheese factors, miners, boatmen, sailors, soldiers, farmers, builders, a soap boiler, wine merchants, publicans, brewers, engineers, railway workers, traction engine drivers, labourers, stenographers, teachers, musicians and actors but the hardships of life for the large group of Memmotts who settled in Sheffield and became involved in the steel and cutlery industry there, was impossible to imagine. I read as much as I could about the jobs that they did, and the lives that they led but it was difficult to convey it all to the reader. Sometimes due to adversities, people chose to sail the oceans and find a better life in America, Canada or Australia, and some were transported there.
There was a judge suspended, a murder, a plane crash, three women killed by one WWII bomb, criminals, bankrupts, gentlemen, laundresses, boarding house matrons, women in men’s jobs, strong widows running businesses for years, and a champion of the RSPCA. There were voyages, pioneers, hardship, love, divorce, mental health problems and people on poor relief. There were illegitimate children, children working, and orphans, women with teens of offspring who lived to a ripe old age. How can one say family history is boring?
I have travelled the country and visited record offices, archives, graveyards, museums, libraries, towns, buildings, canals, rivers and docks. I have studied dusty ancient rolls of parchment, as well as crisp, tightly folded ones, that have never been looked at in 300 years. Pored over marriage licences and wills (now many are online) but there is nothing like touching something that was written all those years ago, especially if that person is your ancestor. I have studied maps and read books on such things as mining, file making, the London Docks, the Marquis of Hastings, and many histories of towns. The internet is always invaluable and anything can be searched for a quick answer, or trawled through for hours hoping for a single shred of information. I have watched television programmes, attended lectures and so much more.
Having put so much work and time into the project, I wanted to preserve it for any who may be interested, whether now or in the future. In addition to the One Name Study Names, many people are mentioned as spouses, and I have included a complete alphabetical list of the names each chapter. Apart from a very few ‘stray’ people, the whole tree grows from one source and spreads out from there, which I find quite incredible. Sadly, I still do not know where the name originated from before 1300, and am left with my few theories, discussed in the postscript. Maybe one day someone will find out.
I could not have completed the work without the help of my cousins Jeff and Kathy Orford-Perkins,whose research into the Meymott branch is exemplary. I am very fortunate that they also agreed to write Chapters Two to Twelve which cover the entire Meymott branch, even tracing people with Meymott as a middle name. Kathy has helped me immensely with her skill in reading old writing, and her transcriptions of wills. Most of all however, is the camaraderie of having someone with whom to share new exciting discoveries and to ask their opinion when there is a problem.
I was also very lucky to have met my sixth cousin, Bob Mammatt, from Australia. He too was persuaded to write Chapter Twenty-Nine about the Australian branch, and it is a most valuable contribution. I must also thank Jill Memmott Olsen, descended form the pioneers who went to Utah, who checked my last chapter and provided some valuable input as well as photographs.
A fellow Guild member, Steve Tanner, is researching the name MIMMACK. Information on this will be found on the MIMMACK profile page at