Meresen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Meresen reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Meresen family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Meresen family lived in one of the places called Merton in South London, Devon, Norfolk. The family also lived in the places named Marton in Cheshire, Cleveland, Humberside, Lincolnshire, Shropshire, the North Riding in Yorkshire and Warwickshire.
There were also places named Martin in Hampshire and Lincolnshire. All of these place-names were derived from the Old English words mere, which means lake or pool, and tun, which means enclosure or settlement. 
Early Origins of the Meresen family
The surname Meresen was first found in Devon, South London, Norfolk or in Oxfordshire. The South London village is technically oldest as it dates back to Saxon times when it was listed as Mertone in 967. The remaining place name were listed as follows in the Domesday Book: Mertone (Devon); Meretone (South London); Mertuna ; and Meretone (Oxfordshire.) 
Great Torrington in Devon was home to some of the family in early times. "At a very early period it gave the title of Baron to its lords, who had the power of life and death throughout the lordship. In 1340, Richard de Merton, in whose possession it then was, erected a castle here, of which the chapel was remaining about the close of the last century (1700)." 
The London Borough of Merton was formed under the London Government Act 1963 and includes the Merton and Morden Urban District. Merton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford.
Continued our quest for early records of the surname, some of the earliest records include Adam de Mertuna in 1189 and Thomas de Marton in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1212.  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists John de Merton and William de Merton in Oxfordshire, and Walter de Merton in Norfolk. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Alicia de Merton and Thomas de Merton. 
"In the reign of Henry III., Walter de Merton (c. 1205-1277), lord high chancellor of England, and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, founded [in Merton, Surrey] a seminary of learning, which he subsequently removed to Oxford, on the foundation of Merton College." 
Early History of the Meresen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Meresen research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1277, 1400, 1394, 1277, 1274, 1585 and 1626 are included under the topic Early Meresen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Meresen Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Mertone, Merton, Merten, Mertens, Mertin, Mertins, Murton, Myrton, Myrtone, Mertoun and many more.
Early Notables of the Meresen family (pre 1700)
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Meresen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Meresen family
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Meresen name or one of its variants: Richard Merton who settled in Barbados in 1698; William G. Merton landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876; George Mertens landed in America in 1776.
Related Stories +
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Page, William (ed), A History of the County of Norfolk. London: Victoria County History, 1906. Print
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)