Marvel History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Atlantic Ocean to the north and west and the English Channel to the south borders Cornwall, the homeland to the Marvel family name. Even though the usage of surnames was common during the Middle Ages, all English people were known only by a single name in early times. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Marvel family originally lived in Cornwall, in the village of Merryfield.

Early Origins of the Marvel family

The surname Marvel was first found in Cornwall and Devon, where this prominent family flourished. Walter Merifild was recorded in Devon in 1200 but it is believed the family had established itself earlier in St. Columb, Cornwall.

"Towards the conclusion of the fifteenth century, [Tacabre, Cornwall] was seized by Richard III. as having been the property of the Duchess of Exeter, the sister of Edward IV. Some time after this it acquired the name of Merrifield, by which appellation it is still known; but from whence this name is derived, cannot be ascertained. It is conjectured to be a corruption of Mary-field, probably from its belonging to the convent of St. Mary de Graces. This manor is of considerable dimensions, extending into the parishes of Whitstone, Tamerton, and St. Stephens near Launceston in Cornwall, and into the parish of Sourton in Devonshire. Connected with this manor of Merrifield is the barton of Tacabre, which still retains its primitive name." [1]

Early History of the Marvel family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Marvel research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1341, 1584, 1621, 1678, 1659 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Marvel History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Marvel 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 Merrifield, Merrifild, Merefield, Merrefield, Merrifeild, Merefeild, Maryfield, Meryfield, Meryfeld, Merryfield, Merrivale, Merivale, Marrivale, Merevale, Meervale, Merrivall, Merryvall and many more.

Early Notables of the Marvel family (pre 1700)

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Marvel Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Marvel Ranking

In the United States, the name Marvel is the 8,118th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

United States Marvel migration to the United States +

Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Marvel or a variant listed above:

Marvel Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Marvel, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [3]

Canada Marvel migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Marvel Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • William Marvel, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750

New Zealand Marvel migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Marvel Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Luke Marvel, (b. 1830), aged 30, Irish farm labourer from County Laois (Queens) travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [4]
  • Mrs. Eliza Marvel, (b. 1838), aged 22, Irish settler from County Laois (Queens) travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Marvel (post 1700) +

  • John Marvel, American rancher and politician, Member of the Nevada Assembly 1978-2008 as a Republican
  • James Marvel, American stage director
  • Elizabeth Marvel (b. 1969), American actress, known for True Grit (2010), Burn After Reading (2008) and The District (2000)
  • Carl Shipp Marvel (1894-1988), American polymer chemist, awarded the 1956 Priestley Medal and the 1986 National Medal of Science, presented by President Ronald Reagan
  • Andy Marvel (b. 1958), born Andrew Michael Saidenberg, an American songwriter and music producer, known for his songs "Shy Guy", "With You", and "Treat Her Like a Lady"
  • Judith Marvel Aitken (b. 1923), American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kansas, 1956 [5]
  • Marvel Crosson (1900-1929), American pioneer aviator, and the first female pilot to earn a commercial license in the Territory of Alaska, posthumously inducted into the Alaska Women's Hall of Fame in 2011
  • Mrs. Marvel England, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Utah, 1948 (alternate), 1952 [6]
  • Marvel G. Gosser, American Republican politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Schuyler County; Elected 1964 [7]

  1. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  2. ^
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 10) . Retrieved from
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook