Show ContentsMarshlay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Marshlay is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Marshlay family lived on the border between two territories, such as the Marches between England and Wales or on the English Scottish borders. The name may also have emerged as a nickname for someone born in the month of March.

Alternatively, the name could have been derived from the Old English word "mersc" and denoted a "dweller near a marsh." [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Marshlay family

The surname Marshlay was first found in Somerset where Godard de la Merse was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1194. Later, Henry del Merse was found in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1212 and William atte Mersche was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. The variant Mash dates back to 1524 when Robert Masshe was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk. [1]

The name is "distributed over the greater part of England, but rare or absent north of Nottinghamshire and Lancashire. It has several centres, namely, in Cambridgeshire and Kent in the east, in Lancashire in the north, in Shropshire in the west, and in Wilts, Dorset, and Somerset in the south. Marsh is the name of a parish both in Shropshire and Kent." [3]

There are "parishes in counties Buckingham and Lincoln. The Kentish family appear to have been in that county from the XIV. cent. The Latinization is De Marisco, and the medieval form is Ate-Mershe. The equivalent name Marais is common in France." [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Isabel ate Mershe, Oxfordshire and John in le Merse, Oxfordshire. [2]

Early History of the Marshlay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Marshlay research. Another 112 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1567, 1568, 1515, 1555, 1555, 1555, 1638, 1713, 1683, 1691, 1691, 1694, 1694, 1703, 1703, 1713, 1626, 1693, 1682, 1693, 1667, 1673, 1673, 1782, 1667 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Marshlay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Marshlay Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval 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. The name has been spelled Marsh, Marsch, Marshe and others.

Early Notables of the Marshlay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was George Marsh (1515-1555), a Protestant martyr born in the parish of Deane near Bolton. He was executed in April 1555 as a result of the Marian Persecutions carried out against Protestant Reformers and other dissenters during the reign of Mary I of England. The church of Deane in Bolton has a "very old...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Marshlay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Marshlay family to Ireland

Some of the Marshlay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 53 words (4 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 Marshlay family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Marshlay or a variant listed above: Alexander Marsh, who settled in Virginia in 1698; Arthur Marsh, who settled in Virginia in 1663; Hugh Marsh, who settled in Virginia in 1650; John Marsh, who settled in Virginia with Joseph in 1635.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. on Facebook