Merk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The German state of Prussia, which reached the zenith of its power in the late 19th century, is the glorious birthplace of the distinguished surname Merk. In the medieval era, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the German lands were inhabited by a variety of barbarian tribes. The borders of the barbarian kingdoms changed frequently, but the region that became known in Prussia was roughly divided between the areas of Brandenburg-Prussia, West Prussia, and East Prussia. The colorful history of Brandenburg-Prussia, provides a glimpse at the oldest origins of the Merk family.

Early Origins of the Merk family

The surname Merk was first found in Prussia, where this family name became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. Always prominent in social affairs, the name became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the feudal system.

Important Dates for the Merk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merk research. Another 203 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1786, 1361, 1819, 1724, 1807, 1409, 1397, 1400, 1397, 1397, 1398, 1399, 1400, 1408, 1559 and 1485 are included under the topic Early Merk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Merk Spelling Variations

One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Merk include Mark, Marck, Marcker, Marckert, Marquart, Marquard, Marque, Markert, Marker, Marcart, Marcard, Marquart, Marquard and many more.

Early Notables of the Merk family (pre 1700)

Prominent bearers of the family name Merk during this time period were Thomas Merke (Merks) (died 1409), an English priest and Bishop of Carlisle (1397-1400), Educated at Oxford University, be became a Benedictine monk at Westminster Abbey, consecrated bishop about 1397, served Richard II as ambassador to various German princes in 1397, one of the commissioners who negotiated the dowry of Isabella of Valois in 1398, and accompanied the king to Ireland in 1399, supported Richard against the usurper Henry IV and in 1400 was imprisoned...
Another 86 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Merk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Merk migration to the United States

Much of German history has been shaped by the state of Prussia. It was an enduring military power until after the Second World War. At that time, the state was abolished altogether and its land divided between the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany. While some Prussians were content to remain in those countries, others moved away, many of them migrating to North America. They entered the United States mostly through Philadelphia, moving on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. Others went to Canada, settling on the prairies and in the province of Ontario. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Merk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Henrich Merk, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1735 [1]
  • Johann Heinrich Merk, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1757 [1]
Merk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George C Merk, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1842 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Merk (post 1700)

  • Frederick Merk (1887-1977), American historian who taught at Harvard University from 1924 to 1956
  • Marion Caspers- Merk (b. 1955), German politician and member of the SPD
  • Markus Merk (b. 1962), German former football referee, six-time winner of the German Referee of the Year Award
  • Ernst Merk (1903-1976), Bavarian Generalmajor in the Wehrmacht during World War II, recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
  • Waldemar Merk (b. 1959), Polish silver and bronze medalist sprint canoer at the 1981 World Championships
  • Larisa Viktorovna Merk (b. 1971), Russian bronze medalist rower in the quadruple sculls event at the 2000 Summer Olympics
  • Joseph Merk (1795-1852), Austrian cellist and composer

Citations

  1. ^ 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)
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