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Surname Monteith - Meaning and Origin

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Monteith: What does the surname Monteith mean?

The last name Monteith is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Mac an t-Saoi which can be translated as "son of the sage". It is derived from the word saor, meaning "wise" or "skilled".

In Scotland, the Monteith surname is believed to have originated in the Lowlands of Scotland, near the border with England. It is likely that the bearers of this name were related to the non-Gaelic speaking settlers who followed the Scots Kings into the area. The individuals who later adopted this surname may have descended from the rather scanty number of English and French immigrants who settled in the area during the 12th century.

The coat of arms associated with the Monteith name includes a red lion on a black background and within a silver shield. The lion is symbolic of bravery and strength, while the colors of red and black represent the blood spilled through countless battles.

Variations of the last name include Monteath, Montieth, and Montieth. These monikers may be found in English, Scottish, and Irish contexts, though the oldest recorded surname dates back to about the year 1400 in Scotland.

The Monteith surname is relatively rare, and the family is believed to have few surviving descendants. It is nonetheless still remembered, representative of a long and proud history and a centuries-old legacy.

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Monteith: Where does the name Monteith come from?

The last name Monteith is predominantly found in Scotland and Northern Ireland today. The name originated in Scotland in the 12th century due to a Norman invasion. It is said to be derived from the Old French words for "mountain" and "heath" giving us Monteith meaning "mountain clearing," and it is likely that many generations of the family are descended from a single Norman ancestor.

The Monteith surname is most frequently found in Scotland, particularly the areas of Ayrshire, Argyll, and Midlothian. The name is also common in Northern Ireland, particularly Antrim and Down. In 1790 the name appeared on the first United States census with several of the family settling in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

In modern times, the name is still often associated with Scotland and Ireland. It is estimated there are between 5,000 and 10,000 individuals in the UK and Ireland bearing the name Monteith, although the exact number is difficult to determine. In the United States, it is believed there are around 2,000 people with the surname.

Interestingly, the Monteith surname is still found in Scotland today. A Monteith clan still lives in the Loch Lomond area and they still refer to themselves as Montieth. It is believed that they are descended from a family of Montieth landed gentry who have been in the area since the 12th century.

Variations of the surname Monteith

The surname Monteith is believed to have originated in Scotland, and is derived from the Gaelic munnadh, meaning "avenue". The variants and spellings include Montieth, Monteath, Monteth, Montieth and Monteate. It is also sometimes spelled ‘Muntye’ or ‘Mondy’ and, in some cases, the first letter of the surname can appear as ‘Minty’.

The numerous variations of the surname are mainly as a result of the many different dialects, which were spoken across Scotland. It is thought that the English, when coming across the different variants of the Gaelic pronunciations, simply recorded the nearest English sounding version on birth, death or marriage certificates. This was a common occurrence at the time as most registrars were not familiar with Scottish dialects and, in most cases, relied on phonetics when recording names.

A variety of other spelling options exist for the Monteith surname. These include Menteith, Menteth, Moneth, Mounth, Montheth and Nertee. Of the derivatives of this ancient surname, there are many variations of the family name now used, including the Irish variants of Montague and Munnelly.

The Monteith surname is also found in the United States and Canada, as those with the name emigrated there from Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries. The surname can also be spelled as Monet, Monat, Monig and Monnet in many commonly found documents in Scotland, Canada and the United States.

Famous people with the name Monteith

  • Cory Monteith (1982-2013): A Canadian actor and singer who is best known for his role as Finn Hudson on the television series Glee.
  • Adela Rogers St. Johns (1894-1988): An American journalist, novelist, and screenwriter who was popularly known as "the first lady of the press".
  • John Monteith (1831-1903): A Scottish-American physician who became a prominent abolitionist.
  • Christine Monteith (1943-): A Canadian jazz singer and composer who has released eight albums in her career.
  • William E. Monteith (1854-1913): A U.S. Congressman from Kentucky who served from 1895 to 1897.
  • Lon Monteith (1889-1959): A British American vaudevillian actor who was featured in a variety of theater and film productions, most notably The Cat and the Canary.
  • Gian Carlo Monteith (1941-): A Dominican-born category 5 hurricane specialist who served as a meteorologist in the National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
  • Chill Wills (1902-1978): An American actor, singer, and songwriter who was best known as Willie Best in the 1941 classic film, The Strawberry Blonde.
  • Elisabetta Anna Monteith (1977-): An Italian actress best known for her role in Il fascino discreto di una ragazza italiana (The Subtle Charm of an Italian Girl).
  • Robert W. Monteith (1898-1970): An American Navy admiral who served as the president of the Naval War College and the chief of staff of the United States Atlantic Fleet.

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Comments or additions to the name "Monteith"

I’m a Monteith! Love reading the history of my people. You got this last name or Stewart your probably my people.

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