This interesting and unusual name is of early medieval English origin, and is a variant of the metronymic surname "Minns", found mainly in the eastern counties of England. Metronymics, formed from the name of the first bear's mother, are particularly rare, since most European societies have long been patriarchal, and the majority of hereditary surnames therefore are patronymics, from the father's name. The surname Minn or Mynn, and metronymic forms Minns, Mince, and Mence, derive from the medieval female given name "Minne" recorded as "Minna" in 1202 in Bedfordshire.Minna is thought to have been a Germanic personal name, from the Old High German "minna", love, but in the late Middle Ages it was also used as a short form of "Willemina", a female version of "William", or from other female names such as "Amelin", or "Emeline". The marriage of Richard Mence and Susanna Sweeting was recorded in London in April 1675. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gostelynus Mynne, which was dated 1327, The Suffolk Subsidy Rolls, during the reign of King Edward 1, "Edward of Caernafon", 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as 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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