Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,766 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

4,874 total views, 1 views today




About the study

In 1988 (Bicentennial of European Settlement in Australia) I started researching my Maunder ancestry, mainly within Australia. However, as I contacted other family members, I discovered that many had already carried out some family history research, some had done so extensively. Soon I found myself back in 15th century Devon, England. When I connected to the Internet in 1999 and was safe in the knowledge that mine was a rare surname, I started contacting Maunder folk round the world. I was soon to discover that the surname is not quite as rare as I first thought!

Variant names

From a start with the surname Maunder, I soon found that there were several variants. In some families with up to (or more than) a dozen children, siblings could have differing surnames - Maunder... a scribe's flourish at the end transformed it to Maunders. A dialect difference resulted in Mander. Then the scribe used his flourish once more, resulting in Manders. Other spellings I have seen are Monder, Mawndre, Munder plus others.

Name origin

There has been quite a bit of speculation on the origin of the surname, including a derivation from the German 'Mandern' - a person from the town of Mander in Germany. However, the consensus of opinion appears to be that the name derives from an old English 'mawnde' meaning 'basket' - hence 'Maunder' would be a basket maker.

Historical occurrences of the name

EDWARD W MAUNDER was born in London in1851. He attended King's College London but never graduated. He took a job in a London bank to finance his studies. In 1873 he started at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, taking a position as a spectroscopic assistant. He met Annie Scott Dill Russell (1868-1947) in 1890, a mathematician with whom he collaborated for the remainder of his life. In 1895 Annie became his second wife. In 1916 Annie Maunder became one of the first women accepted by the Royal Astronomical Society. Edward Maunder was also an esteemed biblical scholar. Part of Edward's job at the Observatory involved photographing and measuring sunspots, and in doing so he observed that the solar latitudes at which sunspots occur varies in a regular way over the course of the 11 year cycle. These studies led him in 1893 to announce the period that now bears his name - the 'Maunder Minimum'.

JOHN HENRY MAUNDER: was born in Chelsea, London and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He was organist at St Matthews, Sydenham 1876-7, and St Pauls, Forest Hill 1878-9, neither of which now exists, as well as churches in Blackheath and Sutton, and accompanied concerts in the Albert Hall. He was conductor of the Civil Service Vocal Union from 1881, and also trained the choir for Henry Irving's original production of Faust at the Lyceum Theatre in 1887.

LLOYD HENRY MAUNDER: Started as a butcher in Devon c. 1898. Eventually Lloyd Maunder became a chain of smallgoods stores throughout Devon and Cornwall England. The family-owned business was sold recently (2009).

STUART MAUNDER: Until 2008, the musical director for Opera Australia.

Name frequency

Frequency of the Maunder surname will be put into this profile shortly.

Distribution of the name

Distribution: As yet I have no exact figures but the surname has spread to most parts of England, to Scotland and Wales and to Ireland and Northern Ireland. Popular emigration destinations have been Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, USA and one family member has been contacted in Nepal.


Since 1988 I have been collecting Maunder family data in Australia and, since 1999, worldwide.