The 'Menzies' SURNAME

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Date: 13 Nov 2020 [unknown]
Location: Worldwidemap
Surnames/tags: Menzies Scottish_Clans
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The 'Menzies' Surname

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Scottish: the 'z' originally represented the Middle English 'yogh', representing a sound similar to the modern English 'y'. The surname is still pronounced Mingiz in Scotland. It has been Gaelicized as Méinn, from which come the English forms Mein and Mien. The patronymic forms McMenzies, McMon(n)ies, McMin(n), and McMyn represent adapations of the name to the predominant pattern of Highland surnames. Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press


  • When was the Menzies surname first used in Scotland - a long held belief that y-DNA testing is proving to be inaccurate.

  • CLAN MENZIES OF SCOTLAND - from origin to today


- surnames used today that may associate with MENZIES.

UNTIL AROUND 1700 most people in Scotland did not have a fixed family surname. Some surnames are connected to several ‘clans’. In the real world, there were certain family names who had a long association with a particular noble family, either because they lived on their lands or were historically among their servants or retainers.

SCOTLAND had a separate nobility to England prior to the Jacobite defeat in 1745. The historical Scottish clans only existed pre-1746 north, and west, of the Highland Fault.

Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland

Scotland’s Lowland families, whom successive Lords Lyon (Court) have recognised as 'Clans', and either accorded an individual the status of clan chief, or recognised that it would be possible to recognise someone as clan chief, if the clan’s armigerous members collectively submit a nominee for recognition who meets the qualifying criteria he (the Lord Lyon) has laid down.

The Baronetcy with regard to the MENZIES, only commenced on 2 Sep 1665 with Alexander Menzies, and ceased in 1910 with the death of the 8th Baronet, Sir Neil Menzies.

The ‘Seat’ for these Baronets was for the most part, Castle Menzies. This castle was not the ‘ancestral’ home of the earlier Chiefs of ‘the Menzies’, nor in fact, is it the ‘ancestral’ home of the current Chief of the Menzies.

Prior to the 1st Baronet, and even after that, many Chiefs of Menzies were located in many areas of Scotland; e.g. Pitfoddels, Enoch (Durisdeer), Culterallers, Shian and Bolfracks, Culdares, Rotmell.

Armigerous families don’t have septs. They are families in which at least one prominent family member had been granted his coat of arms.

DNA has no relevance to so called Septs.

A y-DNA connection to the now large world-wide families of Menzies, that connects through time, is not defined by modern surnames.

Septs were like the modern clan structure, the invention of Sir Walter Scott in 1822.

It is more appropriate to refer to ‘names associated with the surname Menzies’, as y-DNA can determine direct line decendants for all ‘Menzies’ males, whatever their surname happens to be.

Since the beginning of the use of surnames, a y-DNA descendant’s ‘surname’ can vary for many reasons;

• adoption of male children after death of parents by maternal or other relatives, or a community member - with the child taking that relatives surname.

• any non-parental event (NPE) resulting in the male child being given another surname.

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