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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2017


The illustrious surname Merefield finds its origin in the rocky, sea swept coastal area of southwestern England known as Cornwall. Although surnames were fairly widespread in medieval England, people were originally known only by a single name. The process by which hereditary surnames were adopted is extremely interesting. As populations grew, people began to assume an extra name to avoid confusion and to further identify themselves. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Lords and their tenants often became known by the name of the feudal territory they owned or lived on. Unlike most Celtic peoples, who favored patronymic names, the Cornish predominantly used local surnames. This was due to the heavy political and cultural influence of the English upon the Cornish People at the time that surnames first came into use. Local surnames were derived from where a person lived, held land, or was born. While many Cornish surnames of this sort 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 derived from lost or unrecorded place names. The name Merefield is a local type of surname and the Merefield family lived in Cornwall, in the village of Merryfield.

Merefield Early Origins



The surname Merefield 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.

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Merefield Spelling Variations


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Merefield 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.

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Merefield Early History


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Merefield Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merefield research. Another 137 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1341, 1584, 1621, 1678, 1659 and 1678 are included under the topic Early Merefield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Merefield Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Merefield Early Notables (pre 1700)



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

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Merefield Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Vernon Merefield, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

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Merefield Family Crest Products


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Merefield Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
    3. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
    4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
    9. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    10. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
    11. ...

    The Merefield Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Merefield Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 9 November 2012 at 14:54.

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