I was not against the idea that Mansur was a Syrian, but I wasn't sure that it made sense, given that Mansur Street is in the Belvedere section of Lowell, where the mill owners lived, vice the other sections of Lowell, where the mill girls might be living. Of course, my wife's cousin might have just been pulling my leg, but in the back of my mind, money was riding on this question, so I did a little research.
In doing my research I received a lot of help from the UMass Lowell history archives personnel and from the Lowell Engineers Office, as well as the Lowell Library. All were very helpful and I offer them thanks here. Also, as I was wondering around I ran into a couple of people who remembered Syrians in Lowell back in the 1950s and 60s. But, the mention of Syrians appears to not go back much further than about 1900, as per the National Park Service and their publication, Ethnicity in Lowell.
In contrast to the 1900 date, the records in the Engineers Office show a "Resolution laying out and establishing grades of Mansur and Fairmount streets" passed 27 September 1853. This goes along with the Massachusetts Historical Commission report on the Mansur-Richardson House, at the intersection of Mansur and Nesmith Streets (172 Nesmith), erected circa 1845 by a Stephen Mansur.
Mr Stephen Mansur was born in Temple, New Hampshire in 1799. Mr Mansur arrived in Lowell in 1822 and in 1830 entered into a partnership with an Alonzo Child to found the Mansur & Child hardware and crockery business. It is suggested in the Mass Historical Commission report that he helped to build the Eire Canal and then came to Lowell to help widen the canal between the guide locks and the old Lowell Machine Company shops. He passed away 1 April 1863. In his time in Lowell he was an twice elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In 1857 he was Mayor of Lowell.
The Mansur family of Lowell, Massachusetts, spring from Robert Monsieur, a French Huguenot, who came to Charlestown, Massachusetts, at an early day, he being known there as the "Crazy Frenchman", his vivacity and unusual way being in such contrast to the Puritans. The same soon became anglicized as Mansur, and his descendants were found all over the United States. Robert Monsieur married Elizabeth Brooks, June 6, 1670, according to Charlestown records, and it is known he was living in 1678. The line of descent from Robert Mansur, the founder, is through his son, John Mansur; his son John (2) Mansur, who settled in Temple, New Hampshire; his son William Mansur, born in Temple; his son, Stephen Mansur, born December 8, 1773, his son Stephen (2) Mansur; his son William Gage Mansur, born in Lowell, Massachusetts.I am thinking Mansur street is named after some Frenchman. Not a French-Canadian, but one of those people who came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony within forty years of its founding. One wonders to what degree his Huguenot background disturbed the Puritan balance in the area. Since he wasn't run out of the colony, one must assume not much.
UPDATE: Updated to add photo.
Regards — Cliff