This surname of MANGRUM was a baptismal name meaning 'the descendant of MAGNUM' (might, counsel). The surname is of French, Swedish and Danish/Norwegian origin, a baptismal name 'the son of Magnus' a name meaning 'great'. This name was borne by Magnus the Good (died 1047), king of Norway, who was named after the Emperor Charlemagne, and was derived from the Latin Carolus Magnus 'Charles the Great'. The name spread from Norway to the East Scandinavian royal houses, and became popular all over Scandinavia and thence in the English Danelaw. Magnus Erlendsson (St. Magnus) who died in 1117 was the Earl of Orkney. Early in the 12th century, the Norse earldom of Orkney was shared by Magnus and his cousin, Earl Hakon; after years of feuding they agreed to hold a peace-meeting on the island of Egilsay just after Easter in 1117. Hakon treacherously broke the terms of the truce and took Magnus prisoner, and had him executed. The manner of Magnus's death suggested martyrdom, and soon miracles were reported. Earl Rognvald Kali, built St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall in his honour. After the Crusades in Europe, in the 11th 12th and 13th century people began, perhaps unconsciously, to feel the need of a family name, or at least a name in addition to the simple one that had been possessed from birth. The nobles and upper classes, especially those who went on the Crusades, observed the prestige and practical value of an added name, and were quick to take a surname. American surnames comprise of surnames found in every country throughout the world, many with differences in spelling not seen in the old country due to the inability of clerks and Government officials to record correctly the names given them by unschooled immigrants not familiar with the English, French, German, Portugese, Dutch or Spanish languages currently used in the Port of entry or the part of the country where they settled. When an immigrant arriving in America with little knowledge of English gave his name verbally to the officials, it was written down by them as they heard it, and being thereby 'official' it was often accepted by the immigrant himself as the correct American rendering of his name.
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