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

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

The Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the English Channel to the south borders Cornwall, the homeland to the Marvel family name. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Marvel family originally lived in Cornwall, in the village of Merryfield.

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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 Merrifield, Merrifild, Merefield, Merrefield, Merrifeild, Merefeild, Maryfield, Meryfield, Meryfeld, Merryfield, Merrivale, Merivale, Marrivale, Merevale, Meervale, Merrivall, Merryvall and many more.

First found in Cornwall and Devon, where this prominent family flourished. Walter Merifild was recorded in Devon in 1200 but it is believed the family had established itself earlier in St. Columb, Cornwall.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Marvel research. Another 137 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1341, 1584, 1621, 1678, 1659 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Marvel History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 57 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Marvel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Marvel or a variant listed above:

Marvel Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Robert Marvel, who landed in Virginia in 1622

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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  11. ...

The Marvel Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Marvel 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 17 November 2012 at 12:18.

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