Merifield History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Merifield family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. 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 Merifield family originally lived in Cornwall, in the village of Merryfield.

Early Origins of the Merifield family

The surname Merifield 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 Merifield family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merifield 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 Merifield History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Merifield 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 Merifield family (pre 1700)

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


United States Merifield migration to the United States +

A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Merifield:

Merifield Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Abra Merifield, who landed in Virginia in 1646 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Merifield (post 1700) +


    HMS Prince of Wales
    • Mr. Simon P Merifield, British Leading Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [3]
    HMS Royal Oak
    • William John Merifield (1919-1939), British Able Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [4]


    1. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
    2. ^ 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)
    3. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
    4. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


    Houseofnames.com on Facebook