This Italian surname of MANNI was a nickname for a fierce or strong man. In some cases the name may have arisen as an occupational name for a servant, from the medieval use of the term to describe a person in the service of another. The origins of Italian surnames are not clear, and much work remains to be done on medieval Italian records. It seems that fixed bynames, in some cases hereditary, were in use in the Venetian Republic by the end of the 10th century. The typical Italian surname endings are 'i' and 'o', the former being characteristic of northern Italy. The singular form 'o' is more typical of southern Italy. The name was also occasionally used by Ashkenazic Jews, found in Podolia, Moldavia and Bessarabia. The name has also spread widely throughout Europe in many forms including Mannsky, De Mann, Mannel, Mannle and Manin. In England the name has been Anglicized to Mann and Manne. Early records of the name in England mention Henry le Man, 1273 County Cambridge. Bartholomew le Man was documented in County Cornwall in the same year Patricius de Man of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Joannes de Man County Yorkshire, ibid. Buried. Phillipe Colstone, servant of Richard Mann at St. Thomas the Apostle, London in 1586. Baptised. Ann Mann, St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1720. The small villages of Europe, or royal and noble households, even large religious dwellings and monasteries, gave rise to many family names, which reflected the occupation or profession of the original bearer of the name. Following the Crusades in Europe in the 11th 12th and 13th centuries a need was felt for an additional name. This was recognized by those of gentle birth, who realised that it added prestige and practical advantage to their status. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. The associated coat of arms is recorded in Rietstaps Armorial General. Registered in Italy.
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