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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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


  • 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



  • Burris Ancestors by Arthur Price Burris.
  • Historical Perspective of Charles Merritt, ca. 1652-1718 by King Merritt.

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  1. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. 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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