Montz Name Origin Explanation

The reasons why the spelling of our name changed is not known.  We do know how it was possibly spelt in historic documents and when the change did occur.  If you have read the Introduction of the Montz Family.  Landing in New World listed on this site, then you have understood the reasons why names for all families coming to the New World changed.   (Click here for the specific page reference.)

In September of 2001, I sent Dwayne Montz an email asking many questions regarding his knowledge of our family name and if we had a Coat of Arms.  Dwayne sent me back a very nice email with two attached pictures and the following information:

"I have found the surname spelled many ways in the early church and civil records of the German Coast. The earliest church record I have found is the 1774 marriage of Antoine Mans to Siville Bischof(Click here for Dwayne's translation.) and that document records the surname as either MONS or MANS.  It is difficult to tell the difference in the handwriting between "o" and "a".  I read it as an "a".  Attached is a scan of the original document and possibly "your" eye can differentiate (my translation also is attached).  No doubt the church marriage records of Antoine's siblings, Joseph and Bridget were among the burned records of the St Charles des Allemands Church lost in a rectory fire in the 1870s and these lost records may have spelled the name other ways.  Note that prior to about 1770 this was the only church on the German Coast as St John the Baptist in Edgard was founded in 1772 and St Peter in Reserve much later in 1864 or 5. The earliest civil records of St John the Baptist Parish, as "read" by Mr. Glenn Conrad for his book on the early parish Original Acts, have the surname as MANNE.  These three documents are dated 1760, 1761 and 1763.  1762 and 1770 documents have the surname as MANCE and a 1771 document has MONCE. Mance or Monce is used in later records with MONCE becoming more common until 1785 where the name is spelled MONTS.  The first use of MONTZ I noticed is in a 1788 document and the name is spelled that way in most if not all later civil records. However, the spelling of the surname in Alsace in the mid 1700s may well have been MANTZ per research by Mr. Albert Robichaux for his upcoming publication on the origins in Europe of the mid-1700 Alsatians who settled the German Coast which included the Montz and Bischof families.  I doubt if there was a Montz coat of arms.  Mr Robichaux has indicated to me that Joseph MANTZ, the father of our Antoine Montz, was a miller by profession which would place him among the ordinary working class of the time, I believe."

From other emails, conversations, documents and publications, some Montzes believe that  Antoine's last name may have been Manz.  It is sometimes hard to imagine how someone would not know how to correctly spell one's own last name but the people of this time period, while possibly very intelligent, were not necessarily literate and last names were not as important as they are now.

Jewish Ancestry

In my parents travels to Germany, Switzerland and Austria along with knowledge from their parents, they know the name Manz in German is pronounced "Montz" or "Muntz".  Both my Dad, Mom and Aunt Mary Lee Francis have met Manz(es) in Europe.  Mary Lee has also told me about the Hotel Manz she visited in Austria.  Another interesting point on her vacation, was she that she discovered that one of the Manz she met was Jewish.  Here in Houston, one of the team doctors for the Houston Rocket's Basketball team is named James Muntz.  I have chosen him as my doctor in my medical plan, (in 2000) and have got a chance to talk to him, which was quite fun when I scheduled my appointment under my name, James Montz (even though I go by my middle name of Keith.)   After we spoke for a few minutes, I discovered he is Jewish, but he was not sure of his family's origins.  

In 2008, I did some research into the origins of Montz and what possible Jewish tribes the family came out of.  A few web sites were found that pointed to our early origins for "Manz" as coming of the tribe of Gad or Manasseh.  When viewing this from a Jewish Christian standpoint it a blessing.  Gad means "fortune; luck", "raiders shall raid him, But he shall raid at their heels", Gens 49:19.  "And of Gad he (Moses) said, 'Blessed is the one who enlarges Gad; He lies down as a lion, And tears the arm, also the crown of the head.  Then he provide the first part for himself, For there the ruler's portion was reserved; And he came with the leaders of the people; He executed the justice of the Lord, And his ordinances with Israel.' " Deu 33:20-21.  Manasseh means "Making to forget".  The tribe was renowned for its valor.  Judg 6:15-16; Judg 11:1 (Jephthah is from tribe of Manasseh and is mentioned in Hall of Faith in the New Testament).