Copyright © 2010 Derek Iremonger. All Rights Reserved
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Romeo and Juliet (1595), William Shakespeare
Although the origins of the IREMONGER surname may never be known for sure, it is most probably a derivation from the Saxon word Oermengar meaning ‘a great spear’. Many current day English surnames have Saxon roots. By the 14th century the surname was firmly established as IREMONGER and with the introduction of parish baptism, marriage and burial registers in the 16th century, IREMONGER entries can be found in several counties of England from that period.
Many lines have remained consistent with this spelling to this day, although literacy levels prior to the mid 19th century were such that it is not uncommon for it to be found recorded as IRONMONGER.
The Saxons arrived in England in the 5th century at the request of the ancient Britons, not long after the Roman legions had left. Their homeland was along the Rhine valley, stretching as far north east as Denmark. The Saxons originally settled in Kent on the south east coast of England before venturing further afield. Separate independent kingdoms of East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Mercia, Northumbria, Sussex and Wessex were established, collectively known as the Heptarchy.
The earliest reference found is the grant of a property lease in 1389 to John IREMONGER and his wife Agnes in Stratford upon Avon.