Recorded as Man, Mann, Manning, Manns and Manson (English), Man, Manon, Mannon (French), De Mann (Flemish), Mann, Mandel, Mannel, Mendel, Mendler (German), and many others, this is both a Northern European and sometimes a Jewish-Ashkenasic surname. It has several possible origins. The first being from the pre 7th century Anglo-Saxon and Old German word "mann" meaning man, and probably used as a nickname for a fierce or strong person or for a man as for some reason, contrasted with a boy. Alternatively the source could be from the pre 7th century English personal name "Mann", which was still in use in the 12th Century.Although the exact sense is not always clear, and varied by circumstances, it is generally accepted that the meaning ranges from friend, associate or foreman, to servant, but it also may be feudal and correspond to such a phrase as "homo Bainardi", the man of Bainard, one who owed Bainard service of some sort. Another possible origin is from the French province of Maine, as in Johannes de Mann of Yorkshire in the Poll Tax rolls of 1379. Other early examples of the surname recordings include Hans Madle of Ertingen in 1327 and Emanuel Mendel given as being Jewish, of the city of Linz in 1381. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of William Man. This was dated 1185 in the register of the Knights Templar, for the county of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd of England, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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