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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Markes family come from? What is the English Markes family crest and coat of arms? When did the Markes family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Markes family history?

The Markes history begins in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. Quite distinct from Devon, the adjoining county, Cornwall had its own spoken language until the late 18th century. The Markes history began here. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames were derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. The Markes family originally lived on a boundary between two districts. The surname Markes is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature. During the Middle Ages, as society became more complex, individuals needed a way to be distinguishable from others. Toponymic surnames were developed as a result of this need. Various features in the geography of the area were used to distinguish people from one another.

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Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Mark, Marks, Markes, Marke and others.

First found in Cornwall where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Markes research. Another 141 words(10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Markes History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Markes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Markes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 222 words(16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Markes

Markes Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Anne, Henry, John, Peter, Thomas and Richard Markes settled in Virginia in 1663
  • William Markes, who arrived in Maryland in 1670

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  1. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  2. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Markes Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Markes Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:50.

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