Saturday, July 5, 2014

Surname Saturday- Mendenhall

Happy Saturday everyone!

I started researching my mother’s name- Mendenhall- about 6 years ago and have discovered that it is more popular than I ever thought!
The name Mendenhall has had several spelling variations: Meldonhall, Mendenhall, Mewdenhall, Mildenhall, Mindenhall, Minden, Milden, Menold, Mildenhale and many others!

The name was first found in Suffolk in Mildenhall, England- a small market town which dates back to 1050 when it was Mildenhale.

The oldest known Mendenhall was Johannes “John” De Mildenhall, born about 1030 in England. Not much is known about him or his family. He did fight for the king of England in the Battle of Hastings on 14 Oct 1066- a battle between Norman-French army of Duke William II of Normandy and an English army under the Anglo-Saxon King Harold II, during the Norman conquest of England. Johannes was granted a manor in England for his services in the battle. Records show that he was also knighted by the king, making him Sir Johannes de Mildenhall. It was also at this time that the family acquired their coat of arms. The original coat of arms is still on record in the Tower of London.

My family line, as far back as I could trace it, starts with Andrew de Mildenhall- which could be Johanne’s 3rd great grandson. Andrew was born about 1170 in Mildenhall, England. Not much is known about him either. The early Mendenhall’s seemed to own a lot of land and work also for the king many times. My 23rd great grandfather- Sir John de Mildenhall (b. 1270 in Wiltshire) accompanied the king to “for-eign parts beyond the sea” in 1313. In 1326, letters of protection and attorney were issued to magistrate John de Mildenhall to accompany the king once again. In 1330, what could be presumed as a gift of his loyalty, the king confirmed to John- 58 ½ acres of land in the Royal Wyndesore Forest. John’s son- Thomas- also received letters of protection to accompany Queen Phillippa into France in 1339.  

It wasn’t until 1685 when my 10th great grandfather- John Mendenhall (1659-1743) came to America with some of his siblings. They arrived 16 Dec 1685 in Pennsylvania aboard the ship called the Unicorn. John married, had 3 sons and settled in Concord, Chester Co., Pennsylvania.

From then, my family line moved from place-to-place:

Concord, Pennsylvania

Berkeley County, West Virginia

Guilford County, North Carolina

Deep River, North Carolina,
Miami County, Ohio

Darke County, Ohio

Dayton, Ohio

The family has left their mark all over the world:


Mendenhall Cemetery in Darke Co., Ohio
Mendenhall City Cemetery in Mendenhall, Mississippi
Mendenhall Cemetery in Latah Co., Idaho
Mendenhall Cemetery in Nevada Co., Arkansas
Mendenhall Cemetery (also McFarren Cemetery) in Wells 
Co., Indiana
Mendenhall Cemetery in Wilcox Co., Alabama
Mendenhall Family Cemetery in Franklin Co., Idaho
Mendenhall Farm Cemetery in Ledyard, New York
Mildenhall Cemetery in Mildenhall, Suffolk, England
Mildenhall War Memorial in Mildenhall, Suffolk, England

            Mendenhall Glacier, Ice Caves, Lake, River, and Valley- (all of these are near Juneau, Alaska)
            Mendenhall, Mississippi
            Mendenhall Plantation in Jamestown, North Carolina

            Mendenhall Observatory in Stillwater, Oklahoma
            Mendenhall Order- a decision to change the system of weights and measures to the metric system.

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