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The MANUEL surname and its various spellings has been associated with Scotland long before history first recorded the name in 1156.
It is  probable that the name has very early origins in Scotland, but The Priory of MANUEL appears to be the first proven use of the name in an historical record.   The Cistercian Order built The Priory of MANUEL on the Banks of the Avon River a short distance to the West of Linlithgow.   The Priory was consecrated for "ladies of rank" by Malcolm IV in 1156.    It was a tradition that Priories were given the name of the local Lord of the Manor  or the nearest village.   The local village of Manuel is now called Whitecross and records are unclear when the first use of the name MANUEL appeared, with some writers claiming an ancient Barony of MANUEL existed before Roman times.
George F. Black's Surnames of Scotland records a "Sir Michael de Mauwel, Monk of Aberbrothok 1361(may be meant for MANWEL (MANUEL))".   "John MANUEL of Stirlingshire rendered homage in 1269 and Alexander MANUEL was a Monk of Holyrood in 1299."    " David de MANUEL is mentioned in a lease of land in Angus in 13 29".   "William de MANUEL was abbot of Neubotle from 1413-1419."   "John MANVELL was sergeant of the barony of Inverleith in 1610."   There are other MANUEL records in Scotland, but too numerous to mention here.
The first genealogical record for the name MANUEL appears in Airth (Alexander 1644) and another at Prestonpans where the first recorded Marriage of a MANUEL was in 1546.   This suggests that there are perhaps two MANUEL family groups in Scotland, and as yet without a proven common ancestor to link the names to one family.   However there is little doubt, that if we could research back far enough in time, a common ancestor would be identified to link these two MANUEL family groups into one family.
Today members of the Airth and Prestonpans MANUEL families are spread throughout the World.   The writer is a member of the Prestonpans MANUEL family and now lives in Queensland, Australia.   At least two members of the Airth MANUEL family still reside in Scotland - James lives in Argyll and his brother, not because of inheritance, but he just happens to live at MANUEL House and only a few yards from the ruins of The Priory of MANUEL.
The name MANUEL also exists since early 1600s in Northumberland and Cornwall.
Thanks to Peter Manuel for sending this in to us.


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