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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:
I have managed to traced all instances of the name to a single source in Eckington, Derbyshire in the late 1200s with the exception of a few stray people who probably were sea farers in the 1600s. It has taken 5 years of research and a year to write with the help of my cousins who wrote 12 out of the 44 chapters. Enjoy!
Having been born with such an unusual name as Mammatt I was curious as to its origin. People often asked me where it came from and I had absolutely no idea, all I could think was that it was some name derived from an Arabic one like Hammett. My father had done a lot of research into our family history before the days of computers and had gone back to my third great grandfather Edward Mammatt who was born in Ashby de la Zouch in 1776 and was steward to the Marquis of Hastings. A historian called Scott had written some bad things about him and his son John, which most people believed to be true. Scott had also said he was the son of a baker from near Tamworth, which had lead us on a wild goose chase.
When I inherited a tin box from my father, my friend Hilary, who was very enthusiastic about family history, offered to start a tree for me on the ancestry web site that she used. I gladly agreed. When I saw the spaces where you could add the photographs of your relatives, I was hooked! I had also inherited some very good professionally taken family photographs, most were labelled, from as early as 1870.
The first family history adventure I had was with Hilary and we visited The Ashby-de-la-Zouch Museum where, to my amazement, Pat Dixon was researching my family tree. When we went to her house she had a huge Mammatt tree she had made, spread on her table! She had become interested in the family due to the Manor House in the town which had been turned into a school where she had taught for many years. It had been built by one of the Mammatts for the Marquis of Hastings and she wanted to research the family which had been so influential in the town. Edward Mammatt had been responsible for turning Ashby into a spa town and building the enormous building which housed the baths, but sadly was demolished in the 1960s.
I felt so sad that my father could not see this tree, all his life he had tried to find Edward’s forebears. It turned out Edward had been born in Burton upon Trent, to a Moses Mammat. (There had been a rumour about a Moses but no proof). Pat had also found out that Moses's father was Thomas and his father was Rowland, and they lived in Sudbury. Later I discovered Moses was a freeholder in Burton upon Trent so and there was a lot of information about him. His eldest his eldest son was called Moses, and there is an indenture at Stafford record office, for the taking of a lease with another man for £50 on property and land in Burton. Moses I was recorded as being a cheese factor at his marriage, and we then discovered he was friends with Joseph Wilkes, who was also a cheese factor but then became an incredibly active entrepreneur of the industrial revolution. He was involved in agriculture, seeds, canals mining, bricks, and cotton mills to mention just a few of his activities. Edward Mammatt was taken under his wing and eventually married his granddaughter but that is another story.
Moses was born in Sudbury Derbyshire, the son of Thomas. The vicar who recorded his birth in 1738 had very neat writing and spelt his name “Mamack”. Moses’s parents, Thomas and Elizabeth, had 7 children, Thomas 1729, John 1730, Edward 1733, Ruth 1735, Moses 1738, William 1743, and Ann 1747. Thomas and Elizabeth’s marriage, and the baptism of their first 6 children, were recorded by the same vicar. He spelt their name Mamack in every instance. However when their last child Ann was baptised, the vicar had changed and he spelt their name Mammock. All seven children lived to adulthood and with five of them being boys, the family increased. All the boys moved away from Sudbury, may be due to the encouragement of their father, who might have seen better opportunities for his sons in the industrial areas nearby.
The male children of Thomas Mamack and Elizabeth Ackors.
- Thomas (1729) married Ann Bolus in Coleshill, neither of them could write as they both put crosses on the marriage register but the vicar spelt the name Mammat. There is a family grave in the churchyard and the name is engraved Mammatt, Thomas died in 1782. Thomas and Ann had nine children, of which three were boys but only Thomas lived to produce heirs.
- John (1730) married Hannah Woolley in 1756 in Burton upon Trent and their marriage licence survives at Lichfield Record Office. On it we learn that he was a cheese factor like his younger brother Moses, his wife was 25, and he signed his own name Mammat. John died in 1763 aged 32, and sadly only two of their four sons survived infancy. James and Charles died as babies but John (1757) whose baptism I have never found, went to London, became a footman and married Lucy Fuller. Their children were recorded in the nonconformist registers, and it is here where it states John is from Burton upon Trent. John and Hannah’s other son George (1761) was buried in Epson in 1841 but a John Mammatt appeared in in Worfield near Wolverhampton when he married Anne Allerton by licence in 1801. This document, which is also at Lichfield, does not state his occupation and just states he was from the parish of Worfield, however he was not born there. He signed his own name and spelt it Mammatt. I hope to be able to prove John is in fact the cousin of George (1761).
- Edward (1733) married Mary Sutton in 1759 in Stoke on Trent by banns. They both put crosses on the marriage register but the vicar spelt the name Mammatt. They moved to Doveridge where he was a farmer. They had three children whose names were spelt Mamack on the register but when Edward was buried in 1787, his name was recorded as Mammot. Edward and Mary had three children two if which were boys. William (1761) moved to Coleshill may be to be near his cousins, and married Sarah Derrington in 1787 and had eleven children four of which were boys. Here the name changed to Mammatt. Edward and Mary’s other son John (1771) died aged seventeen, and in the Somersal Herbert (near Sudbury) register it is spelt Mammot.
- Moses (1738) moved to Burton upon Trent and became a cheese factor as previously mentioned. He married Ellin Marshall in 1770 by licence and he signs the document Mammatt. They had four children. Moses (1772) and Edward (1776) who lived to produce heirs. Their eldest son Moses moved to Birmingham and became a druggist but he also was dealing in tea and groceries and went bankrupt when he was just 22. His life seems to have been a disaster as he married Elizabeth Edwards in 1796 but she died just after their second child Edward was born. Then Edward died aged seven in 1806 in Measham, where they had moved to be near to Moses’s younger brother Edward (my third great grandfather). This must have been the final blow for Moses and he died the next year aged 35. The inscription on his gravestone reads
“Aged 35 Years."No more the hours hand heavy o'er thy head No more does lingering Sickness wring thy Frame Thy Spirits to the heavenly Mansion fled Thy Body now is freed from every Pain.”
Moses and Ellin’s son Edward moved to Measham where he worked for Joseph Wilkes and then Ashby de la Zouch as the steward to the Marquis of Hastings as mentioned previously. There is an article in Ashby Museum magazine “Past and “Present” which after very extensive research by Pat Dixon, aims to set the record straight as to the truth about him. I am descended from his second son Edward (1807) who was blind from aged six but never let this hamper him. He was organist at St Helen’s Church, composed music, won a medal from the Society of Arts for his invention for writing both letters and musical characters, he lectured on electricity geology astronomy and anatomy. He was chairman to the Burton Brewery Company which thrived under his direction, edited the scientific publication the “Analyst” and held many offices in the town. (I feel his wife Harriet “Buller” must have helped him with the editing). My great grandfather was his second son, Arthur Simmonds Mammatt (1848) who went to Balliol College Oxford to study theology and then became was a vicar firstly at Castle Donington and then Packington, a village close to Ashby. he was also tutor to Lord Donington's children at Donington Hall.
- William (1734) married Barbara Stytch in Sutton Coldfield in 1782. Interestingly she signed her own name in the register but he put a cross. The vicar spelt his name Mammott. He lived to be 83 and had five children with Barbara, only William (1788) lived to produce heirs, and a further two girls with Ann. The line died out after William junior.
Thomas’s (1698) parents and siblings
Thomas was born in Sudbury in 1698 and his baptism on 15th November was clearly recorded as, “Thomas son of Rowland and Anne Mammock”. They had married in 1691 in Uttoxeter and her name was Anne Baulding and the vicar clearly wrote “Rowland Mammat” however in the Bishop’s Transcript the name is spelt Mammatt. In both instances it states Rowland was from Wirksworth. They had two girls before Thomas was born, Sarah 1692 and Elizabeth 1693. Their last child Edward was born in 1703 and died in 1730 unmarried.
Naturally the first place I looked for Rowland's birth was Wirksworth, and yes there was a John Mimot (variously spelt) there who had some children and a wife Margery who was buried in 1686 and John then married Anna Allen a year later. The first entry is for “a childe of John Memitt buried 1666”. The next “John fil John Mimott” buried 1669. Then there is a change of vicar and the new one has beautiful writing, John’s next child Ruth is recorded by him as “Ruth filia John Mimit de Idridgehay” baptised 1667. This was very interesting, Idridgehay is a little village within the parish of Wirksworth. As there were no entries before or after these it looked as if John and Margery had arrived in Idridgehay from somewhere else and then disappeared later.
A month before Rowland married in Uttoxter, there was an entry in the register at Sudbury (the first bearing this name) it reads “John Mammack vagabond buried” 1691. This had puzzled me for ages but then I thought it was likely to be Rowland’s father who had gone to Sudbury where his son had just settled, perhaps abandoning his second wife. The term “vagabond” had a more precise meaning than we might now think and he would have committed the crime of abandoning his family, usually more than once, so this adds weight to my theory. Also his burial was not paid for by the overseers as one would expect (there are excellent records at Derbyshire Record Office), which probably meant Rowland paid for it.
It was here that my research was stuck for over two years. I tried and tried to find Rowland’s baptism without success. I did however collect a lot of information about places that had people with similar names. The spelling is wildly variable, as it was a very unfamiliar name so people spelt it how it sounded. It must be remembered that Derbyshire had one of the strongest dialects at this time.
My General Research into the Name
In my quest to find Rowland’s origin I started to look anywhere that had similar instances of the name. The first place I looked was Sheffield where there were a lot of Memmotts, but they did not start to appear there until after 1700. The next hopeful place was Eckington. Here I was totally frustrated as there was a John Mymmott who had various children the first was John in 1664 but then there were two baptised in 1667 and 1668 with no Christian name added, just a line in both the parish registers and the bishop’s transcripts! One of these nameless children obviously died soon after as he was buried without a first name. I had no choice but to assume Rowland was the son of John Mymmott christened without a first name. The idea that Rowland was born in Eckington did not match with the fact he was from Wirksworth because the Eckington family stayed there so could not have also been the John Mimit in Idridgehay as well.
Because I was a member of the society of Genealogists I was able to check many places quickly because they have extensive duplicate records for Derbyshire and Linconshire as well as transcriptions. I have run my eye down hundreds of indexes and this made me realise how very scarce the name was. It was there I found a whole lot of Mimmocks/Mimmacks (again variously spelt) in Laneham in the 1600s. Laneham comes under Nottinghamshire but is in fact just on the west side of the Trent. The burial records go back to the 1570s and a William Mynnot and also another Mynnot were buried in 1578 and 9. Two Minntts married each other in 1611. Gervase Mimmacks married in 1628. Michael Minnot married in 1637. While I can’t find an example of an individual’s name being spelt Minnot as well as Mimmot the fact that the two unusual and very similar names occurring in the same place points to the fact that the root of them was the same but had separated into two distinct names before the registers started. (See below for the explanation of this).
Gainsborough also has Memmocks on the opening pages of their registers; Augustin Memacks 1610, Memmock 1613, Mammock 1615, Mimmock 1626. I looked at the geography of the area and realised the common link to all these places was the river Trent. Eckington was a mere thirty mile walk from Gainsborough. Gringley on the Hill had occurrences of the name in the 1660s and is in Nottinghamshire but is about four miles west of Gainsborough, which is in Lincolnshire. Other places on the Trent like Owston Ferry on the Isle of Axholme had Mimmacks and Belton just north had Minnits in the 1600s. Nearby East Retford had William Mamoth in 1573.
In the Grantham parish registers there is Thomas Memack in 1611 Austyn Memmock 1613, John Mimick 1620, Austen Memack 1613, John Mimmock 1624 John Mimmocke 1627. Grantham is on the river Witham.
I also found an interesting original document in Nottinghamshire archives, which I had translated, dating back to 1420. It is a charter whereby John Mymmott and William Smyth of Morysburgh (Mosborough) are trustees of a toft and croft plus 15 acres for Robert Pye.
The Eckington Court rolls contain many references to the family. There are three between 1492 and 1506 concerning Robert Memot who sells land in Ridgeway to the Eyre family.
John Mymmott 1453
Robert Mymot 1486
John Mymmotte of Mosborough 1488
There was also a will of Elizabeth Mymmocke from North Muskham which is on the Trent, in 1582, but she mentioned no heirs.
This is a list of the instances of family when mentioned in the Transcriptions of the Eckington Court Rolls (at the Society of Genealogists)
1506 John Memott
1507 John x2 & Robert Memott of Ridgeway
1509 & 10 Thomas Memmott
1513 John Mammott of Ridgeway
1513 John and Thomas Memmott
1514 Robert Memmott overseers of the woods Mosborough
1528 Robert Memott
1537 John Memott
? Thomas Memott kept too much fuel
? Robert Memott
1528 Robert Memott
1537 John Memott land deal
1537 John Memott
1556 William Memot
1552 William Mymotte
1572 William Mymotte
1574 William Memott
1576 William Mymotte
From now on William is listed as a free tenant and sits on the panel and is often fined for non attendance (along with many others). His lands in Eckington and surrounding areas are also mentioned frequently. He is mentioned about 20 times until 1589 when he must have died as there is an entry “essoined: ….and the heirs of William Memott….” And the family is not mentioned again in the court rolls. William left a will in 1588, he was an alderman and burgess of Chesterfield.
In 1508 in the Eckington court rolls, John Robert and Alice, a widow, were fined 2d for cutting hedges. (This may have been a protest against restrictions landowners were imposing on tenant’s rights to common lands.) The fact there was a widow and a John, I have assumed this is the wife of John who had the grant in 1488 and must have died in between. She was likely to have been with her two sons Robert and John, Mosborough is north of Eckington.
The luckiest find I had was a will at Lichfield for a John Memott who died in 1540 in Eckington. He had various possessions which he left to his wife Elen and sons Robert, John, and William. Again I had this translated as the writing was like hieroglyphics. His eldest son Robert inherited his best possessions, a “yrne bun Weyne” (iron bound wagon) and a “yrne chimney", lead chimney a "bruynge led" bruing vessel and a "flandyrs kyst”. I must acknowledge Steve Tanner from the Mimmack ONS who spent time analysing these words and disproved my theory that the will mentioned "A lead Chimney from Bruges". I have now found another will which was misfiled at Lichfield under Mennot. It is the will of Robert Memot, the father of John, and the same possessions are mentioned, here is the translation by Peter Foden:-
In the name of God, Amen. The 27th day of May in the year of our lord 1534, I Robert Memott, whole in mind and sick in body, make my will in manner and form following. First I give my soul to God almighty, to our Lady Saint Mary and all the Saints [abbreviation, uncertain meaning] and my body to be buried in the church yard of the Holy Apostles Saint Peter and Saint Paul at Eckington.
Firstly I give Katherine Whytley my servant 10 shillings, a ewe and a lamb. Also I give to Thomas Holdeyn a cow, 3 ewes and 3 lambs. I give to Agnes Godley a ewe and a lamb. Also I give to the mending of Staveley bridge [?]1 2 shillings. Also I give to John Memot my son an iron chimney2, a lead3, a langsettle4, a steepfat5, a chest, an acre of wheat, an iron-bound wain, and a bullock of three years old. The residue of all my goods not bequeathed I give to James Firth my son in law whom I make my full executor to see that this my present will be truly fulfilled with God-speed.
Witnesses hereof, Sir6 Robert Hyde, John Cade, Richard Shoter, with many more
1 Maintenance of roads and bridges was seen as a pious charity in Mediaeval Christendom. This looks like the placename Stalybridge (Cheshire), but according to its Wikipedia article, its bridge was not built until 1707. More likely therefore the bridge over the River Rother at Staveley near Chesterfield, a parish adjacent to Eckington.
2 Probably in the sense of a stove [OED]
3 A large pot, cauldron, or kettle; a large open vessel used in brewing and various other operations. (Originally, one made of lead...) OED 4 A long bench or ‘settle’, usually with arms and a high back (Northern Dialect) OED
5 a brewing vessel (vat is the southern dialect version of fat)
6 The courtesy title Sir was often accorded to priests, and the first witness of a will was often the clerk who had written it for the illiterate testator Transcription and translation by Peter Foden, September 2015
I was then making investigations into what the common link between these very unusual names that sprung up at very similar times along the banks of the Trent, could be. Boston was part of the Hanse of London in the Hanseatic League, a free trade organisation between many north Atlantic ports which had existed for centuries. There was good navigation from Boston in the Wash up the river Witham to Lincoln. The Fossdyke had been constructed by the Romans to link navigation with the Trent. In the book The Inland Waterways of England by L.T.C. Rolt: 1966 published by George Allen & Unwin Ltd, it says:-
The Fossdyke and River Witham from the Trent at Torksey, through Lincoln to the sea at Boston, together form a very ancient line of navigation. The Fossdyke is believed to have been a Roman work, and although originally constructed for primarily for drainage purposes and subsequently deepened and widened, it may fairly claim to be the oldest artificial line of navigation in England. The Witham is said to have been a tidal navigation for seagoing vessels as far as Lincoln before the conquest, while in 1121 Henry I instigated the scouring of the Fossdyke to enable boats to pass between Lincoln and the Trent. In the late Middle Ages the navigation deteriorated, and by the end of the sixteenth century the Fossdyke had become practically un-navigable.
From 1121 up to the 1400s, ships could enter the port of Boston and then sail north down the Trent to Gainsborough and out to sea via the Humber. The land has changed a lot and the Wash now become silted up and the Fens drained.
There is a book published by Lincoln Record Society called, The Overseas Trade of Boston in the Reign of Richard II: Edited by S.H.Rigby; 2005; Published by The Boydell Press. It transcribes the original port records which were kept for custom's purposes, which have details of all the cargo values, as well as owner's names of the ships, the dates the ships sailed and the names of the masters in the second half of the fourteenth century. It was in this book that I noticed some Flemish merchants with the name Myn (Mynne etc) who were trading in cloth, furs and fish oil in the 1380s. Hermannus Myn went on to own his own ship which sailed about every month from Bruges to Boston. The value of the cargos was enormous, going from £500 to a staggering £2,500 by 1390. There also appeared other Myns who were merchants, possibly his sons, (in one instance spelt Mynnen), Ellar, Martinus, and Bartholomeus.(Myn is actually an anglicised version of the name Mijn.) Bruges had become a very prosperous city due to it importing wool from England, making it into cloth and then exporting it. In the 1390s we banned imports of woollen cloth because we were making it ourselves and this caused terrible hardship in Flanders. Bruges had become overpopulated as people had flocked there in the boom times and when the wool trade collapsed there was not even enough food.
I believe that when the wool trade collapsed in about 1400 and hardship ensued in Flanders, the rich merchants may have brought their relatives, who also bore the name Myn, over in their ships to start a new life in England. Probably various trips were made and people dropped off in different places, the inland places along the Trent would have been more hospitable and offered more varied possibilities for work than say sea ports such as Grimsby. The earliest instance of a name derived from Myn that I have found was in the Lincolnshire Assize Roll, a Hugo Mynot of Saperton in 1298. The next is in Laneham in 1388, a Robert Mynnot was listed in a valuation of the manor. I have learned that the suffix “ot” means son of or little one and there are many instances of Minnot as I have shown. Presumably “et” and “it” would be interchangeable. In Laneham the Minnets and Mimmets had settled into two distinct names. It is not hard to see that the origin of the names could easily be from the merchants named Myn, who may have brought relatives over in their ships when life became unbearable in Bruges. Immigrants often change their name to something easy to pronounce in their new country and later John Smith was often chosen. It may be that Johannis was John Memott’s real name or he could have chosen it because something like Hermannus would have been too difficult for the English to say. Robert may have been chosen as an easy name too. The Flemish merchants would have been extremely wealthy during the good times and hopefully still had some of their money even when they fled their homeland.
I also visited Norfolk Record office where I found the name Mynn occurred in several places on the first page of the registers from the 1540s onwards. These were Fransham, East Lexham, Litcham and Walsingham. Some of the Mynn family were in parliament in the 1500s like Henry and Nicholas as well taking on important posts in Norfolk. During the 1300s sea levels rose dramatically and much land was lost, so these places were much nearer the coast then. Bury St Edmunds was a port Ely was an island. Sutton in the Isle in Cambridgeshire was a real Island before the Fens were drained and was a port. The name Mynet appeared in Sutton in the isle in 1601, Minett in 1602 then various doublings of letters, it is very easy to see that Myn is the root of the name here. Minat also occurred as well as Minit by 1640, however the ‘n’ never became an ‘m’ here.
I spent a lot of time following every line that had a remotely similar name, like Meymott which appeared in the 1670s in Alfreton. It transpired that in fact they had come from Chesterfield where a William Memott left £73/9/- in 1588 (a wealthy man). This of course is the William that I noticed had died before 1589 in the Eckington Court rolls, Chesterfied is close by. He was the son of John that left the will in 1540. I was now able to follow him in the records, he was a burgess of Chesterfield, he married Alice Blackaw late in life, in 1584 in Chesterfield and they had just one child, Edmund, (christened with the spelling Mymott) in 1585. The baptism record for Edmund reads “Edmund son of William Mymott alderman of Chesterfield”. Edmund inherited his father’s estate and the family moved to Alfreton. He died in 1640 and his will is at Lichfield record office and on it his name is spelt Meymott.
In the 1664 Scardale hearth tax at the National Archives, Edmund's son Edmund Mimot is recorded as having three hearths. Robert Mimott is also listed in Ridgeway with one hearth and John Mimott with one. Widow Mymott in Staveley is listed as not having a hearth. In the 1672 hearth tax, Edmund Memott II has three hearths in Alfreton and his son Edmund III has one, Robert and John are still listed as well. John is causing me problems at the moment as it is not clear exactly which line he belongs to.
Alfreton's registers, where Edmund III’s children were baptised, only start in 1668 (and they are just the bishops transcripts). So there is no record of his marriage, nor any of his first children. The first child to for which a record survives is Joseph Mimot 1668, followed by Francis Meymott 1670, William Mimmot 1672, Benjamin Meymott 1675. Edmund II’s death in 1707 is recorded as “Mr Edmund Meymot” By 1700 all the descendents of William, who died in 1588, became known as Meymott.
One interesting occurrence was in Leeds, a similar name first appeared when “Agnis child of Richard Mammuth” was baptised in 1603. His next child Jo was baptised Mammots, Margaret in 1609/10 Mammuts, Richard Mammut in 1604. When another Margaret was baptised in 1612 to the same father the name had added a “y” and become “Manynuts” Grace’s surname was spelt the same but John in 1631 was Manninuts. William in 1632 was Mammuts, Mary Maninuts in 1635. By this time the spelling had crystallised mainly to that forn “i”s and “y’s being interchangeable and doublings common but the middle “m’ was now firmly an “n”. . The last entry was 1658 and after that there were no more instances of the name. This is a wonderful example of how a name can change completely in a short space of time and within a single family! How the family arrived in Leeds is easy to see, they would have followed the river Aire from its junction with the Humber. It may be no coincidence that in the early 1600s Leeds’s cloth industry started to boom.
Return to my Tree
Despite all this research, I still could not fit Rowland into the tree. (I even looked in a village nearby called Rowland and also another called Mammerton but nothing!) Then I just thought I would see if by any chance there was a marriage bond for Rowland and Anne at Lichfield and I could not believe my luck, there was! It gave me a lot of information and it was my happiest find. (This was before these records were available online). It stated that he was 27 years old and Anne was 25. He was from Idridgehay and a husbandman. She was from Scropton and his witness was a husbandman from Sudbury. This proved that the John Mimit, father of Ruth, from Idridgehay in the parish of Wirksworth, must be Rowland’s father and Rowland had probably been born elsewhere just before they moved there. A lot of the registers are damaged and the bishop transcripts often start at a later date and Alfreton doesn't start till 1668, so I have reconciled I will never find his baptism entry. Another possibility is that he was baptised a non conformist, or even not at all. I did find an Elizabeth Mimmot in Staveley, (widow Mimot on the land tax) who had been a Quaker and stood excommunicated in 1666, she was the wife of Godfrey, and appears to have been the only Quaker in the family, as I have checked their immaculate registers. The protestants in Flanders had been persecuted and a lot came to England and even ended up going to America, but there were no Memmots on the Mayflower however!
I then made an a tree for the Eckington Memmotts and the name Robert was predominant as well as John. The first Memmott to occur in Sheffield was Robert so it seemed very likely he had moved from nearby Eckington, drawn by the work in the cutlery (which means knives and blades of all types) industry there. I started to construct a tree placing all known people on it and it fitted together very well. I was puzzled by an Edward Memmott who suddenly appeared in London but I then had another great find on “ancestry”, an apprentice certificate for “Edward Memmot the son of John Memmott of Wirksworth husbandman”. John had sent his son to learn to be a wheelwright in 1708. John must have been the grandson of John the vagabond!
The tree has now grown and I am fitting, as far as I can, everyone into the tree. I have found Memmotts in various places in and around Sheffield where the name firmly stayed as Memmott, with one notable exception which puzzled me for a year. There was a silversmith in Sheffield, William Mammatt, and to start with I thought his line must fit into mine somewhere. However that was not the case. I found he was the son of George Memmott. George could not write as he put a cross on the marriage certificate, the vicar spelt it Memmott. However when George's son William was born in 1837 his name is spelt Mammatt. This then began to stick and in the 1841 census George was Mammott and in 1851 Mammett. When he died in 1853 he was Mammatt and his son William with his various businesses was always Mammatt. All the other Sheffield ones remained Memmott and they are by far the largest branch. My line, going back to Rowland, is the only one that became Mammatt. The branch that became Meymott still exists and has become quite numerous.
I have now come to the conclusion that John the vagabond, was probably born in Alfreton, son of Edmund II and brother to Edmund III. He must have married Margery and had Rowland and John there before moving to Wirksworth which is quite close by. Eckington on the other hand is a long way away. Maybe this move was unsuccessful or he went off the rails for some reason, because the family he left was quite well off, they were yeomen farmers, so involved in agriculture as Rowlnd was.
It seems likely that the origin of the names Mynn, Minnit, Mimmack and Memmott (also Mammatt) did not originate from just one person called Myn but probably several. The fact the Myns were wealthy merchants who had ships would mean that they were better able to bring their families over to England with what they had before the situation deteriorated too much in Bruges. Naturally some branches if the family faired better than others and Rowland fell on hard times, and had to be given bread and coals by the overseers and money when he was not able to work for some reason. His wife Anne was given money for her lying in after the birth of Thomas. When Rowland died the 18/~ burial fee was paid by the overseers.
I hope to be able to do research into the name Mijn in Belgium and wonder if anyone can help with this?
I am now not convinced about the theory that the name derives from Myn, because I have now traced the name back to the end of the 1200s in Eckington, where there are many occurrences of it in the early Eckington court rolls. There is another theory that the name could originate from the Saracen mercenaries that were employed by Henry II and Richard I. This theory needs further investigation, so for now the origin is still unknown.
A fellow Guild member, Steve Tanner, is researching the name MIMMACK. Information on this will be found on the MIMMACK profile page at