Show ContentsMarisa History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Marisa surname comes from the Old French word "marais" meaning "a marsh." It may have arisen as a surname from the place name (Le) Marais in Calvados, Normandy.

Early Origins of the Marisa family

The surname Marisa was first found in Kent where the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Maris, Richard of Maris held estates and who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

They trace their lineage to Normandy where the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Ivo, Drogo, Gilbert, Robert de Maris, in the Lordship of Maris, Normandy, 1180-95. [1]

There the name could have also been derived from the French, Mariess, Maris, personal names. [2] Yet another source claims the name is from the French word marais, which translated into English as a marsh. [3]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had three early entries for the family: John de Mareys, Cambridgeshire; William du Mareys, Suffolk; and William du Mareys, Suffolk. [4]

Geoffrey de Marisco, Mariscius, Mareys, or Mares (d. 1245), was Justiciar or Viceroy of Ireland, and "is said to have been the nephew and heir of Hervey de Mount-Maurice, and nephew of Herlewin, Bishop of Leighlin (d. 1217?) He is also said to have been the brother of Richard de Marisco, Bishop of Durham and Chancellor." [5]

His ancestor is believed to be Hervey Mount-Maurice (fl. 1169), "Invader of Ireland, whose name appears variously as Monte Mauricii, Monte Marisco, Monte Marecy, Montmarreis, Montmorenci, Mumoreci, and Momorci, may not unreasonably be held to have belonged to the same line as the Montmorencies of France which in turn is derived from Montmorency-Morres. Hervey is said by M. de Montmorency-Morres to have been the son of a Robert FitzGeoffrey, lord of lands in Thorney and of Huntspill-Marreis, Somerset." [5]

Farther to the south in the parish of Week St. Mary, Cornwall, "the manor of East Orchard Marrais in this parish, and that of Markham church, belonged to an ancient family of this name, whose heiress married au ancestor of the Rolles. The old mansion which was formerly the seat of the Marrais family is now occupied by a farmer. For the Marrais family there is an ancient memorial in the church." [6]

Early History of the Marisa family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Marisa research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1191, 1199, 1621, 1745, 1786 and 1806 are included under the topic Early Marisa History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Marisa Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Marris, Marriss, Maris, Mariss, Mares, Marais and many more.

Early Notables of the Marisa family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Marisa family

Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Mary Maris, who came to Virginia in 1650; Wm. Maris, who came to Virginia in 1661; George Maris, his wife Alice and their five children, who came to Pennsylvania in 1683.

Contemporary Notables of the name Marisa (post 1700) +

  • Kerry Marisa Washington (b. 1977), American Primetime Emmy Award, Satellitte, two-time Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe Award nominated actress
  • Marisa Pavan (1932-2023), born Maria Luisa Pierangeli, an Italian actress who first became known as the twin sister of film star Pier Angeli (Anna Maria Pierangeli), recipient of an Academy Award nomination and won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the 1955 film The Rose Tattoo
  • Marisa Jossa (1938-2023), Italian television actress
  • Marisa DeFranco (b. 1954), Canadian keyboardist, member of The DeFranco Family, featuring Tony DeFranco, a Canadian pop music group, active in the 1970s
  • Marisa Christine Coughlan (b. 1974), American actress, known for her work on Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999), Super Troopers (2001) and the series Boston Legal
  • Marisa Mackle (b. 1973), Irish romance novelist of over 13 books who also writes for children
  • Marisa Tomei (b. 1964), American Academy Award winning and Drama Desk Award nominated actress, best known for her roles in The Wrestler (2008), The Lincoln Lawyer (2011) and Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
  • Marisa Robles (b. 1937), Spanish harpist, best known for her rendition of the Concerto for Flute and Harp by Mozart
  • Marisa Michelle Warrington (b. 1973), Australian actress, best known for her role as Sindi Watts on the Australian soap opera Neighbours
  • Marisa Ewers, German football midfielder

  1. 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)
  2. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  6. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print on Facebook