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

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

The name Merritt arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Merritt family lived in Leicestershire. Their name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Marriot in Normandy.

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A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Marriott, Mariott, Marriot, Marritt, Marrot, Marrotte, Mariatt, Maryet, Maryott, Marryatt, Mariate, Merritt, Merriott and many more.

First found in Leicestershire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merritt research. Another 229 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1614, 1695, 1657, 1679, 1708, 1695, 1698 and are included under the topic Early Merritt History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 117 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Merritt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Merritt family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Merritt or a variant listed above:

Merritt Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Nicholas Merritt, who arrived in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1648
  • Henry Merritt, who landed in Virginia in 1651
  • George Merritt, who arrived in Virginia in 1657
  • Thomas Merritt, who arrived in Connecticut in 1662
  • Ruth Merritt, who arrived in Maryland in 1677


Merritt Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • James Merritt, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Margery Merritt, who arrived in Virginia in 1722
  • Vinson Merritt, who landed in Virginia in 1724

Merritt Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Samuel Merritt, aged 21, landed in Maryland in 1813
  • David Merritt, aged 38, landed in Massachusetts in 1813
  • Robert Merritt, who landed in New York in 1831
  • William F Merritt, who arrived in New York in 1842
  • Isaac Merritt, aged 33, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1847

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  • H. Houston Merritt (1902-1979), American dean of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons from 1958 to 1970
  • Stephin Merritt (b. 1966), American singer-songwriter
  • Wesley Merritt (1836-1910), United States Army general in the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War
  • Abraham Grace Merritt (1884-1943), American editor and author
  • Chris Merritt (b. 1952), American opera singer from Oklahoma City
  • Gilbert Stroud Merritt Jr. (b. 1936), American lawyer and jurist, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1997-2001)
  • Catherine Tift Merritt (b. 1975), American singer-songwriter
  • Lieutenant Colonel Charles Cecil Ingersoll Merritt (1908-2000), Canadian soldier awarded the Victoria Cross during WWII
  • Max Merritt (b. 1941), Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist
  • Nathan Merritt (b. 1983), Australian professional rugby league footballer from Sydney, New South Wales

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  • Burris Ancestors by Arthur Price Burris.
  • Historical Perspective of Charles Merritt, ca. 1652-1718 by King Merritt.
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  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. 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).
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. 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 Merritt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Merritt 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 6 May 2014 at 02:08.

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