Hello to everyone on the Mendus trail!
I have just been told about the Dyfed List and I may have something to
contribute since Mendus was my maiden name. Yes, Sandra, Mendus the chemist
in Pembroke was my father and I should add, Robert, that I am the person to
whom Andy Mendus referred as being active in tracing my family tree. I will
try to be brief!
The origins of the name Mendus have long been a puzzle for researchers and I
believe I can go back further than hitherto suggested. Major Francis Jones,
HWE (Herald of Wales Extraordinary) knew my father quite well and did a
certain amount of research on his behalf. He came up with the following
early details for the name in the Newport area:
1225-26 Mendus, Petri, Petrus Mendiz, Martin Mendiz,
merchants of Portugal were granted letters of safe conduct (I have the ref.
for the Pat. Rolls), also
1490-91 Philip Mendus of the diocese of St David's on the
title of a monastery of St Dogmaels appointed sub-dean on the Eve of
Trinity, viz. 5 June 1490,
and the name occurs frequently from then on with the spelling as 'Mendus'.
However, Dillwyn Miles, historian and authority on Newport, told me that
when the Normans invaded Pembrokeshire, amongst their entourage was
definitely a Mendus, so do we go back even further?
Some years ago I corresponded with various people in the USA with the Mendus
surname, all of whom claimed to be of Polish origin. I found reference to
the name on a passenger list for entry into the USA c.1905-10 coming from
'Galicia', which I understood at that time was probably from a port in
Galicia, northern Spain. This featured again about three years ago when
speaking to some Polish decorators locally in London who assured me that
there was an area just south of Krakow known as Galicia. So could this mean
that the Normans/Huguenots split up, some going East to Poland while the
others went over the Channel towards London and west Wales?
Other points raised: the tombstone for David Mendus/Meddus in the churchyard
in Fishguard is, I believe, still standing. My father wrote to the church
authorities about 50 years ago suggesting that it should be taken in under
cover to protect it from weathering. Nothing was done!
My own branch of the Mendus family is very much from the Dinas area, the
family property for many years being the farm at Tymeini on the Fishguard
Road, and I can vouch that there are quite a number of Mendus graves in
north Pembs since I have stumbled my way in all weathers over many in
pursuit of the all-important family details!
I have not so far found the link with Mendus in St Dogmaels, though it can't
be far off! Anyone with ancestors from this area might like to know there is
a splendid Indenture for Thomas Mendus being granted a lease on the premises
of The White Hart Inn (formerly known as The Three Harts) in 1769. It is
framed and hangs on a wall in the pub - clear signatures on it of both
father and son.
With best wishes,