Marissa History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Marissa 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 Marissa family

The surname Marissa 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 Marissa family

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

Marissa Spelling Variations

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

Early Notables of the Marissa family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Marissa 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 Marissa (post 1700) +

  • Leighton Marissa Meester (b. 1986), American actress, singer, and model, best known for her starring role on Gossip Girl on The CW (2007–2012)
  • Marissa Ann Mayer (b. 1975), American businesswoman, president and CEO of Yahoo!, former employee number 20 at Google
  • Marissa Irvin (b. 1980), American former tennis player
  • Marissa Paternoster, American artist, singer and guitarist
  • Marissa Nadler (b. 1981), American musician and recording artist
  • Marissa Moser-Boehlke, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oregon, 2004 [7]


  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
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 1) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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