Homepage Frans Mensonides

FAQ's about the Mensonides family

(English version for Peg Taylor and all other relatives abroad)

NEDERLANDSE Versie: FAQ's over de naam Mensonides

In this article, I want to answer some of your questions about the family name Mensonides. My article is based on the research of my uncles Frans and Siep Mensonides and that of the Genealogysk Wurkforban van de Fryske Akademy ( Genealogy task group of the Frisian Academy) who published the Mensonides genealogy in their 1971 yearbook.

Where does the Mensonides family come from?

The Mensonides family originates from Friesland, a rural area in the north of the Netherlands. In Friesland, many people speak the Frisian language, a language different form Dutch, which is spoken in the Netherlands and a part of Belgium. Frisians are considered very stubborn and strong people. They are proud of Friesland and their language.

What does the name Mensonides mean?

Mensonides litterally means "the son of Minne". Minne is a Frisian name; "ides" is a suffix, derived from Greek, meaning "son of". In the academical world of the 17th century, people had the habit to translate their name into Latin or Greek; espessially at the university of Franeker in Friesland. Some more examples of those names: Simonis (son of Simon), Winsemius (born in the village Winsum), Nauta (skipper), Faber (worker); these are all very common Frisian names.

In the 17th century, some ancestors of the nowaday Mensonides family used the Latin form (Mensonis).

Who were the first Mensonides'es?

The first man to call himself Mensonis was Sijbrandus Mensonis (born about 1565 in Bolsward, a small town in Friesland, under the name Sibrant Minnes). He was director of the Bolsward Latin School. Sijbrandus was married with Doed Hillebrants. They got three sons, Menno, Pyco and Hylck. These sons called themselves "Sybrandi".

The first man who was called Mensonides was Menso Sybrandi Mensonides, grandson of Menso Sybrandi. He was "chirurgijn" ( a kind of family doctor) and physicist in the village Makkum where he died in 1711. The Mensonides'es who live nowadays are all descendents of Idske Mensonides (1734-1771), granddaughter of the Makkum physicist. She was married with Jan Sjoerds (1731-1780).

Does the Mensonides family have family arms?

Yes, as you can see at the picture. The Mensonides family arms are engraved in the church bell in the tiny village Longerhouw, were Haye Minsonides (1702-1778) occupied the professions of "village judge" and churchwarden..

In the arms, you'll find a symbol with resembles the digit 4. This is a traditional "huismerk" (house-sign). In the northern and eastern part of the Netherlands, those signs were used from the 1st century to mark the property of people. Those marks were encarved in the wooden doors of houses and farms. People who could not spell used their Huismerk to sign contracts. The oldest son inherited the housemark of his father; younger sons added an extra line to their fathers huismerk.

How is the name "Mensonides" pronouned in the Dutch language?

about Man SO knee das, with the accent on the second syllab.

What do the Mensonides'es do for a living?

Among the 17th till 19th century Mensonides'es were vicars, phycisists, schoolteachers, farmers, skippers, workmen and burgomasters. The nowaday Mensonides'es have many different professions, suxh as engineer, salesman, archivist, teacher and baker.

Who is Frans Mensonides?

I am 41 years old and unmarried. I live in Leiden, a middle-large town in Holland, near the North Sea Coast. My profession is computer network controller. My hobbies are: public transport, digital photography, writing short stories, articles and novels. The rest of my website is in the Dutch language.

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