The Origins of the Minterne Family and my research

Spelling Variations of this name include: Mintern, Minterne, Mynterne, Minturn, Mintorn, Mintren and many more.

Little is known about the origins of the Minterne name although it is probably an altered form of the English habitational name Mintern(e), from Minterne in Dorsetshire, named in Old English as the ‘mint house’, from minte ‘mint’ (the herb) + ærn ‘building’, ‘dwelling’.

A patent of arms granted to John Mynterne of Newlands, Batcombe in 1581

A patent of arms granted to John Mynterne of Newlands, Batcombe in 1581

The surname can be first found in the county of Dorset as early as the 12th century where Robard moryz de Myntern held a manor there in Doclande. This information can be found in a collection of old Glastonbury manuscripts, I have searched for the manor of Doclande online and the closest I can find is Stockland or Buckland.

Early Mynterne family

• Gilbert de Mynterne, Abbot of Cerne
10 April 1312
Ralph de Keterynge and William de Wherwolle, monks of Cerne, bringing news of the death of Gilbert de Mynterne, late abbot of that place, have letters of licence to elect.

Source: Edward II, Vol II – Calender of Patent Rolls

• Walterus de Mynterne
26 August 1307
Original Writ for the Counties of Somerset and Dorset extant

Source: The parliamentary Writs and Writs of Military Summons

• Robard moryz de Myntern
12th century
Ceo le entendement coment le tenement Roberd moryz de
myntern en la manere de Doclande deveynt frank.
Translation: Ceo understanding the coment of the tenement Roberd moryz
myntern in the manere of Doclande deveynt frank.

Source: The Western Manuscripts in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Page 202 – Glastonbury Manuscripts

It’s very likely that my ancestors in one form or another include the three names above, although I have a gap of about 150 years before my research begins and the earliest recorded Minterne ancestor I have in my tree is John Minterne of Newland Farm, Batcombe, Dorset he was born about 1450. Henry VI was King of England and England was heading towards civil war ‘the Wars of the Roses’.
John Minterne is recorded in the visitations of Dorset, it is not known who he married and only one son is recorded.

The Minterne family were a very religious, wealthy and influential family, many of their descendants held the position as clergy and this can be seen as far back as 1312 with the recorded death of Gilbert de Mynterne, Abbot of Cerne who was elected in 1296.

Cerne Abbas: Cerne Abbey - porch of the Abbot's hall (Dorset) Photographed by Michael Day

Cerne Abbas: Cerne Abbey – porch of the Abbot’s hall (Dorset)
Photographed by Michael Day

The 16th century saw the family rise ever higher with marriages that tied them with figures from the royal courts of both Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

Researching this family has not been easy and the tree is still incomplete, unfortunately the parish records for Batcombe and Hooke, Dorset where my Minterne ancestors came from are lost they were destroyed in The Great Fire of Blandford of 1731, although at the same time I have been fortunate enough to have a wealth of information to assist with my research including Wills, Administrations, University Records, Clergy Records and much more.

Over the centuries the family have left their mark on Dorset, the name is connected to a well-known Dorset folk tale and a scandalous murder and the descendants of John Minterne of 1450 married into some very prominent landed gentry’ families with links to the New World, The Spanish Armada, and the Royal courts of Tudor England.


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