Manning – Surname Saturday

Brown/Manning Line
By Don Taylor

Name Origin[i]

Family Search indicates that Mannin can be an Irish variant of Mannion and is found in Finland, the United States, and England. Manning can be an English variation of Ó Mainnin or is a survival of the Old English personal name Manning.

Forebears indicates that Mannin and Manning are preserved in terms such as “Manningford, Manningham, Mannington, and Manningtree, all parishes set down in Crockford.”

In either event, most websites suggest it is an Angelized form of an Irish name. Manning is over 1000 times more common than Mannin.


People with the Manning surname number about 145,000 and most live in the following:

  • United States, over 98,000;
  • England, nearly 20,000;
  • Australia, nearly 10,000

In the United States, the greatest incidence of Mannings occur in Texas, California, and Florida.

In frequency, you are most likely to find Mannings in Vermont and Massachusetts, where more than one in every 2000 people have the surname.

My Direct Manning/Mannin Ancestors

  • 1st Great-grandmother: #013.  Mary Elizabeth Manning (1878-1983)
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: #026.  John William Manning (1846-1888)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: #052.  Enoch Mannin (1823-1907)
  • 4th Great-grandfather: #104.  Meridith Mannin (1802-c.1885)
  • 4th Great-grandmother: #107. Martha Mannin (1798-c. 1860) [ii]
  • 5th Great-grandfather: #208. John Bosel Mannin, Sr. (1776-1870)
  • 6th Great-grandfather: #416.  Samuel Mannin (1756-…)     
  • 7th Great-grandfather: #832.  Meredith Mannin (1720-c.1751)

My Mannin/Manning in History

Great-grandma Brown (née Manning) is the only direct Manning ancestor I’ve ever known. Her father died in 1888, and her grandfather died in 1907. She might have known her great-grandfather Meredith Mannin, who died when she was seven. However, she moved to Minnesota with her grandparents when she was about four years old, and Meredith did not move to Minnesota.


Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown lived in Sylvan, Cass County, Minnesota, with her husband, Arthur Durwood Brown, and nine children. Two of your 12 children died before 1920; her youngest would be born in 1921.

The only Manning in the county was Barney Manning, a dependent in the John A Coats household. Barney was born in New York, and his parents were born in Ireland, so it is unlikely he is related.


  • John William Manning was 35 years old and living in Rowan County, Kentucky. Living with him are his wife, Lisa, and two-year-old daughter, Mary.
  • Enoch Mannin was 57 years old, living in Carter County, Kentucky. Living with him is his wife, Minerva, son Isaac, Isaac’s wife, and five of Isaac’s children.
  • Meredith Mannin was 78 years old, living in Bath County, Kentucky. He lives with his daughter, Sarah, her husband, James Richardson, and her six children.

Civil War

Enoch Mannin and John William Manning both fought in the Civil War for the Union.

Revolutionary War

The Daughters of the American Revolution have 70 Manning results in their Ancestor Search data. Although some of my ancestors were old enough to serve, I have not been able to connect any of them to my tree.

Immigrant Ancestor – Unknown

John Bosel Mannin, Sr. was born in Virginia in 1776. I haven’t researched his father or grandfather and don’t know if either were born in the colonies or if they immigrated.

Locations of my Manning Ancestors[iii]

  • Indiana, Boone County – Enoch & Meredith.
  • Indiana, Boone Co., Lebanon – Meredith.
  • Kentucky, Bath Co., Owingsville – Enoch, Meredith, & John William.
  • Kentucky, Bath Co., Tanyard – Meredith.
  • Kentucky, Carter Co., Grayson – Enoch, Meredith, & John William.
  • Kentucky, Morgan County – Meredith.
  • Kentucky, Rowan Co., Pine Grove – John William.
  • Minnesota, Cass Co., May – Enoch.
  • Minnesota, Stearns Co., Holding – Enoch.
  • Missouri, St. Louis Co., St. Ferdinand – Enoch & Meredith.
  • Virginia, Bedford County – John Bosel.
  • Virginia, Franklin City – Meredith.

Famous Mannings

Certainly, the Archie Manning (b. 1949) family is very famous. Archie was a football quarterback. His son Cooper (b. 1974) was a wide receiver. His sons Payton (b. 1976) and Eli (b. 1981) were also quarterbacks in the NFL. The football family continues another generation, with Cooper Manning’s son, Arch, a college football quarterback.[iv]

My Direct Manning Descendants

I have 1,552 known descendants of Meredith Mannin in my tree; 408 Mannin/Manning, 70 Brown, 61 Bryant, 44 Barnett, 28 Horn, 22 Richmond, 21 Ost, and 20 Taylor.

Photo of Enoch Mannin
Enoch Mannin

Ancestor Photographs

Although I have several photos of my great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown, none of the pictures are from when she was still a Manning. I have no photos of her father, who died when Mary was ten. So, the only direct Manning ancestor I have a picture of is Mary’s grandfather, Enoch Manning.



[i] Common surname origins include:

  • Occupations (such as “Farmer”
  • Physical characteristics (such as “Short”)
  • Places or landmarks (such as “Hill”)
  • Patronymics, derived from father’s name (such as Johnson from ”son of John”).

[ii] I have not had the opportunity to personally research these individuals. As such, their names and dates are tentative and/or speculative.

[iii] Note: There are three different Meredith Mannings who lived in these locations.

[iv] Wikipedia:

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