The Cross moline became a common theme in the seal of most Molyneux descents.
|Meaning||"Moulineaux", derived from the French Moulin (English: mill of the waters)|
|Region of origin||Normandy|
|Language(s) of origin||Norman|
|Related names||Molinex, Mullinix, Mullenneix, Mullennix, Mullineaux, Molinieux, Molinaux, Molineaux, Mollineaux, Molineux,|
Molyneux // (Old Norman: De Molines or De Moulins) is a surname of Anglo-Norman origin. The name has been linked primarily to a large Norman family that settled in Lancashire, United Kingdom from Normandy in the first wave of families along with William the Conqueror in 1066. By the 14th century the Molyneux family had become so large that it split into three main branches; the Lancashire line, who became the Earls of Sefton, the Nottingham line, and the Calais line, from family still left over in Normandy. The two aristocracy branches during the Middle Ages were the English Branch and the Irish Branch, from these three genetic lines extended a plethora of variation in the name that has now spread across the globe.
Etymology and history
The ancestors of the Molyneaux family who arrived in England around the time of the Norman Conquest of 1066 bore the name "de Molines" or "de Moulins", Old Norman in origin, meaning "Mill". The later changed "Molyneux" is an Anglo-Norman spelling variation, meaning "watermill". The early historical background of the family is sparse, coming from scattered genealogical, historical, and archaeological sources, composed of a mixture of legend, romanticized literary invention, and fact. Prior to the Norman colonization of Neustria genetic evidence suggests the family was of Norse or Viking origin. The Molyneux family belongs to haplogroup I2a2a, which is about 30,000 years old tracing its roots to Scandinavia Historians know the de Moulins came from Molineaux-sur-Seine, near Rouen, in Normandy where they were guardians of Château de Robert-le-Diable also known as Château de Moulineaux in the 10th century. The earliest known common ancestor of the family is recorded to be Robert de Moulins of Château de Moulineaux in Molineaux-Sur-Seine, follower of William of Normandy. Although dismissed as false by most genealogists, family folklore states he was the illegitimate son of Peter Abelard and Héloïse d’Argenteuil, Astrolabe, with a changed name. Some genealogists assert that Robert de Moulins was a legendary figure due to lack of sourced evidence of his existence.
Written evidence suggests the de Moulins family supplied flour to William the Conqueror's army via a mill on the river Seine near present day Molineaux-sur-Seine, France prior to the 1066 invasion of England, although no archeological evidence exists to support the claim. Other sources claim the de Moulin family originally came from Moulins, France and traveled to Normandy where they joined the Norman army and founded the mill on the Seine. Wherever their origin, Robert de Moulins' son, William (Guillaume de Moulines Sir de Falaise as listed in many sources where Companions of William the Conqueror are noted) settled in Lancashire and was granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, his liege Lord, for his assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. He had two sons William and Vivian de Moulins. Some sources state Vivian as William I's brother that also fought in the initial battle, but neither can be confirmed. Roger the Poitevin who possessed large tracts of land in Lancashire in what was then called inter Mersam et Ripam, that is, "between the Mersey and the Ribble" by gift of the crown gave Molyneux large land holdings and the manors of Septon (Sefton), Thornton, Cuerden, ten carucates and a half of land, at the service of half a knight's fee. William Molyneux made Septon his chief seat and was succeeded by Vivian de Molyneux.
They were initially to be granted the Manor of Little Crosby, later Ince Blundell Hall, which had been held by one Uctred until 1066. By 1212 it was owned by Richard de Molyneux of Sefton before being turned over to the Blundell family. The Molyneuxs later owned most of the districts of Speke and Rainhill. With much current archeological and written evidence, the Royalist gentry family held a large moated manor, a corn mill on the River Alt, and St. Helen's Church at Sefton without interruption from about 1100 to 1700. From there the Viscounts turned Earldom moved to Croxteth Hall. Of the Sefton Molyneux family, Sir Richard (d.1290) and Sir William Molyneux (d.1320), knights of the Crusades, are entombed within the church, and are the its oldest inhabitants. Their effigies now lie beneath an arch moulding set into the wall in the Molyneux chapel, which is outside of the 14th-century church walls. By the 14th century the Molyneux family had become so large that it split into three main branches; the Lancashire line, who became the Earls of Sefton, the Nottingham line, and the Calais line, from family still left over in Normandy.
The senior branch of the Sefton family had been staunch Catholics and Royalists (notably in the 17th and 18th centuries) through the worst times until Charles Molyneux, 8th Viscount Molyneux, was rewarded for converting to the Protestant faith. The relatively youthful second and third Viscounts fought on the Royalist side both politically and militarily. Although Liverpool Castle had been partly dismantled in 1660-1678, Caryll Molyneux, the 3rd Viscount, had used it for storing arms. During the reign of King James II, he was outlawed by Parliament for supporting the deposed king in 1688 to 1689. Control of the Castle finally passed out of Molyneux hands after Caryll had again been suspected of participation in a Jacobite plot. William, the 7th Viscount, was a Jesuit, and there were in his time not less than seven Molyneux in the Society of Jesus alone.
Over the centuries, several deviations of the name Molyneaux have emerged. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names as they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name include Molinex, Mullinix, Mullenneix, Mullineaux, Molinieux, Molinaux, Molineaux, Mollineaux, Molineux, and several others. Many variations were due to misspellings in American or other country's immigration services. Although Anglo-Norman surnames like Molyneaux are characterized by many spelling variations, the name Molyneux has prevailed with the modern trend towards standardization. In all there are 50-odd modern variations of the surname, collectively referred to as the Mx(s).
Notable persons with the surname Molyneux, include:
- Edward Molyneux, fashion designer and artist, cousin of the Earl of Sefton
- Emery Molyneux, English Elizabethan maker of globes, mathematical instruments and ordnance
- John Molyneux, British soldier
- John Molyneux, British socialist writer
- John Molyneux, of Melling, a constant confessor for the Catholic faith under Elizabeth I ; and his son and grandson, who both died in arms fighting for King Charles at Newbury
- Maxine Molyneux, sociologist and feminist
- Paul Molyneux, English cricketer
- Peter Molyneux, British computer game designer
- Robert Molyneux, president of Georgetown University
- Samuel Molyneux, astronomer
- Stefan Molyneux, libertarian
- Stephen Molyneux, British educational technologist, Apple Distinguished Educator and Apple Education Mentor.
- Father Thomas Molyneux, S.J., probably of Alt Grange, Ince Blundell, was a confessor of the Catholic faith at the time of Oates's Plot, meeting death from ill-treatment in Morpeth gaol, 12 January 1681.
- William Molyneux, Irish natural philosopher
- Jonathan Molyneux, English turned American prisoner aboard the Loyal Margaret in 1726 who settled in Maryland and became the forefather to most American South and Midwest Molyneuxs and their different spelling variations, particularly "Mullinix". Although disputed by historians, his father was Thomas Molyneux, a disputed cadet line from the Earl of Sefton.
For Viscount Molyneux see Earl of Sefton, and in particular
- Richard Molyneux, 1st Viscount Molyneux (1594–1636)
- Richard Molyneux, 2nd Viscount Molyneux (1620–1654)
- Caryll Molyneux, 3rd Viscount Molyneux (1624–1699)
- William Molyneux, 7th Viscount Molyneux (1685–1759)
- Charles William Molyneux, 1st Earl of Sefton (1748–1794) previously 8th Viscount Molyneux
- William Philip Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton (1772–1838)
- Charles William Molyneux, 3rd Earl of Sefton (1796–1855)
- William Philip Molyneux, 4th Earl of Sefton (1835–1897)
- Charles Molyneux, 5th Earl of Sefton (1867–1901)
- Osbert Molyneux, 6th Earl of Sefton (1871–1930)
- Hugh William Osbert Molyneux, 7th Earl of Sefton (1898–1972)
Molyneaux is a rare Irish spelling variant. People with this spelling variant include:
- James Molyneaux (born 1920), Baron Molyneaux of Killead, Northern Irish Unionist politician
- Joseph W. Molyneaux, American federal judge.
- Lee Molyneaux, English footballer
- Vince Molyneaux, American baseball player
- Paul Molyneaux, American author
- Joshua Mollineux, 18th century painter, for James Stanley, 10th Earl of Derby
- Mary Mollineux, 17th century poet
American spelling variation descended from Jonathan Molyneux
- Tadd Mullinix, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based musician, descendent of Jonathan Molyneux.
- Henry M. Mullinnix, an aviator and Admiral of the United States Navy during World War II.
- Siri Mullinix, American Soccer Goal Keeper.
Other persons bearing the name Molyneux :
- Lord Henry Howard-Molyneux-Howard, brother of 12th Duke of Norfolk, served as Deputy Earl Marshal of England
- Molyneux Shuldham, 1st Baron Shuldham (c. 1717 – 30 September 1798), naval officer and colonial governor of Newfoundland
- International Molyneux Family Association.
- Pilgrim Alden: the story of the life of the first John Alden in America with the interwoven story of the life and doings of the Pilgrim colony and some account of later Aldens pp119-128
- The Norman people and their existing descendants in the British dominions and the United States of America: Henry S. King & Co., 1874
- Morris, John (ed.) (1978). Domesday Book:Cheshire. Phillimore & Co. pp. R1:1–45.
- Edward Kimber and Richard Johnson, The Baronetage of England: Containing A Genealogical and Historical Account of all the English Baronetts Now Existing, Vol. I, Published 1771, Printed for G. Woodfall, and others pp. 59-60
- Edward Kimber, The Peerage of Ireland, Vol. II, Published by Printed for J. Almon, London, 1768, pp. 26-31
- History, Genealogical and Biographical, of the Molyneux Families By Nellie Zada Rice Molyneux pg. 9
- International Molyneux Family Association.
- Surnames Database:Molyneaux
|This page or section lists people with the surname Molyneux (surname). If an internal link intending to refer to a specific person led you to this page, you may wish to change that link by adding the person's given name(s) to the link.|