Margay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cornwall, one of the original six "Celtic nations" is the homeland to the surname Margay. A revival of the Cornish language which began in the 9th century AD has begun. No doubt this was the language spoken by distant forebears of the Margay family. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Many Cornish surnames appear to be topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees, many are actually habitation surnames. The name Margay is a local type of surname and the Margay family lived on a boundary between two districts. Literally the name meant "dweller by the boundary" from the Old English word "mearc." [1]

Early Origins of the Margay family

The surname Margay was first found in Essex where "Adelolfus de Merc held lands under Eustace Earl of Boulogne. His estate of Tollesbury was still held by by one of his descendants, Henry de Merk, in 1251. This name, variously given as Merkes, Markes, and Mark, was derived from Marc in Normandy. Geoffrey de Marco and his sons are mentioned by Ordericus Vitalis (591). It is still retained by many places in Essex. There is Le Marck, or Marks Hall, in the parish of Leyton, Mark’s Tay (held under the Mandevilles “from the earliest times”), the parish of Markes Hall, Merks in Dunmow (possessed since the days of the Conqueror), and others. The family was wealthy, numerous, and greatly sub-divided. Aitropus, or Eutropius, and Simon de Merc occur in the Rotuli Curiæ Regis of 1194-98: and the latter is also entered in the Monasticon as a benefactor of Thornton Abbey. He and his son Ingelram held Marks, in the parish of Great Dunmow, of the King in capite of his Honour of Bologne, and had certainly three, if not more, successors in the male line. " [2]

Rogerus filius Markes was found in Hampshire according to the Curia Regis Rolls of 1207 as was Robertus Marcus in 1148 at Winton. Simon del Merc was in the Curia Regis Rolls for Essex in 1208. A few years later, Philip Marc was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Northumberland in 1209 and later, Robertus Markes was listed in Cheshire in 1288. [1]

Early History of the Margay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Margay research. Another 254 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1291, 1226, 1296 and are included under the topic Early Margay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Margay Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Margay family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Margay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Margay family to Ireland

Some of the Margay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 78 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Margay family

Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Margay were Andrew Mark settled in Virginia in 1654; along with Elizabeth and Sarah; Deborah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Sarah, Thomas Mark all settled in New York State in 1774.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3


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