The surname Mangelsdorff originated in Prussia and several variations in spelling exist (including Mangelsdorf, Manglesdorf, Mantelsdorf, and Mangenstorff). In the area between the Havel and Elbe rivers, near the monastery at Jerichow, two villages evolved called Groß Mangelsdorf and Klein Mangelsdorf (about 70 km west of Berlin). The villages are mentioned in the 14th Century (referenced by Günter Mangelsdorf). It is said that the Slavs lived in Klein Mangelsdorf and the German settlers founded Groß Mangesdorf. The founder who organized the village might have been named "Magnus." So the community was Magnus's village and later it became Manges-, Magnes-, and Mangelsdorf. The name Mangelsdorf (and variations) dates from the 14th Century. In 1364, there is mention of "Johannes Magnestorp," a senator in Rathenow. Mangelsdorf families were found in Rathenow and surrounding towns of Jerichow, Stendal, Tangermunde, Havelberg, and Brandenburg, perhaps with origins in Klein or Groß Mangelsdorf. There is an Evangelical Lutheran church in Groß Mangelsdorf dating from the early 1100s. The earliest individual record is of Katharina Mangelsdorf born about 1593 in Havelberg, Hanover, Prussia. Most Mangelsdorffs were born and lived in Prussia/Germany. Some migrated around the world with families found in Australia, Canada, Chile, Switzerland, The Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, and the United States. Of those who migrated, most left during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Many professions are reported from academics, writers, musicians, military, and craftsmen. In Germany, Mangelsdorf(f)s include: Albert, Barbara, Beate, Gunter, Lilo, Lukas E., Peter, Werner,Winfried. The immigrants to the Americas are varied. In the geneological literature in Chile, there are several references. Current Chilean residents are Sergio and J. Gustavo Lopez. In North America, there were several Union soldiers in the American Civil War, Charles Mangelsdorff, a private with D Company, 93rd Infantry Regiment, New York, who enlisted June 11, 1864. Other Civil War pensioners were Albert Mangelsdorf (New York), Henry (New Mexico), Julius (New York), and William (Kansas). Other individuals in the United States include: A. David , Clark P., David E., David J., Dick, Elizabeth, Frederick E., Harold G., Kate, Lisa, Martha E., Michael, Philip, Ralph, Richard, Sarah C., Sarah J., T.V., Theodore A., Theodore, and Thomas. David Porter (1992) has assembled an excellent work charting the descendents of Andreas Mangelsdorff (of Arneburg, Prussia).

Immigrants to Australia have been diverse including Robert, Sarah, Rich to name a few.

A Mangelsdorf family crest is reported in Deutsche Wappenrolle, 1974 (enrolled September 16, 1973 under number 676873). It was submitted by Fredrich Karl Mangelsdorf for descendents of the paternal line of Andreas Christian Friedrich Mangelsdorf (1826-1880). The crest details state: the silvery-red-black tinged shield is divided in two by a toothed japped/zig-zag line and in each section a golden "crown-bloom." On the helmet, there are black and silver covers on the right side, and red-black on the left; between a silver-black on the right, and red-black on the left jagged line, both sides with a golden "crown flower," and a golden rose on the stern.

In tracing my paternal roots in the Brandenburg area of Germany with the assistance of Markus Röhling, church registers recording family christenings and marriages have been examined. Mangelsdorffs have lived and worked in the Berlin area as craftsmen since the 1700s according to the city directories, in Kremmen during the late 1600s, and 1500s in the city of Brandenburg. In the 1880s, the Mangelsdorffs immigrated to the New York area; New York research has been assisted by Joan Koster-Morales. My paternal Mangelsdorffs include: Arthur Fred (1904-1990), Friedrich August Max (1874-1942), Hugo Ludwig Hermann (1848-1920), August Hermann Ludwig (1818-1891), Gottlieb Friedrich Wilhelm (1790-1852), George Friedrich Wilhelm Mangelsdorff (1763-17**), Johann Friedrich Christian Mangelsdorff (1713-1795), Joachim Mangelsdorf (1651-1720), Christoffel Mangelstorff (1622-1705), Hans Mangelstorff (1595-16**), and Hans Mangenstorff (1561-1598). In Germany, during the early 1800s the family name was frequently spelled with one f; when they came to the States, an additional f was added. My paternal Mangelsdorff pedigree follows (including Kleine(n)bergs, Kettners, Hempfs, Müllers, Ernsts, and Josephs). My maternal Rowland line can be traced as well from the French Huguenots who immigrated to Ireland and later journeyed to North America to Canada and New Jersey. Further details will be added as the site evolves.