The surname of MOLLENAX was a locational name 'of de Moloneaux' probably from the noble family who trace their descent from William the Conqueror, from Molineaux-sur-Seine, near Rouen. The name came to England during the wake of the Norman Conquest and has strongly ramified in County Lancashire, and is now found in all classes of society. Early records of the name mention Adam de Mulneus, 1273, County Lancashire. Edward Molyneaux of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Molnex of Lancashire, registered at Oxford University in the year 1578. Henry, son of John Mollinox was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1634. A family of this name have held the earldom of Sefton since 1771. They trace their descent from William de Molines, a Norman named in the Battle Abbey Roll. They were granted the manor of Sefton in Lancashire by Roger de Poitou, circa. 1100. Among other notable family members were Adam de Moleyns (d.1450), Keeper of the Privy Seal, and his brother Sir Richard de Moleyns (d.1439) who distinguished himself at Agincourt. This is also the name of an Irish family, descended from Sir Thomas Molyneaux (1531-97) who was born in Calais. He settled in Ireland in 1576, and became Chancellor of the Exchequer there. 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 flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. In many parts of central and western Europe, hereditary surnames began to become fixed at around the 12th century, and have developed and changed slowly over the years. As society became more complex, and such matters as the management of tenure, and in particular the collection of taxes were delegated to special functionaries, it became imperative to distinguish a more complex system of nomenclature to differentiate one individual from another.
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