Merlawe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Merlawe arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Merlawe family lived in Northumberland. Their name, however, derives from the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Merlai, Normandy. 
Early Origins of the Merlawe family
The surname Merlawe was first found in Northumberland at Morpeth, a parish and borough.
They descend from the "Barons of Morpeth in Northumberland, where the ruins of their castle still overlook the town. The domain was very large, including many adjacent villages, and 'by the rolls of Henry V. is called the barony of Merlay, which shows that Merlay and Morpeth were places originally distinct from each other, the one denoting the hill and the other the valley: at length the distinctions subsided in the general appellation of Morpeth. King Henry I. gave Julian the daughter of Gospatrick Earl of Dunbar in marriage, with a rich dowry, to Roger de Merley, Baron of Morpeth. This Roger founded Newminster, and was interred therein, with his wife and Osbert their son.' " 
Another source confirms this history. "The first certain account preserved of it, is in the grant by the Conqueror of the manor to one of his followers, William de Merlay, whose son Ranulph added largely to his paternal estates by his marriage with Julian, daughter of Cospatrick, Earl of Dunbar; ultimately the family became one of the most powerful in the north of England, and were owners of about a fourth of the county of Northumberland. In 1266, their possessions were vested in two coheiresses, Mary and Isabel, to the elder of whom, wife of William, Baron of Greystock, the manor of Morpeth was allotted." 
Ulgham in Northumberland was home to another branch of the family in ancient times. "This place, in the charter of Henry I. granting right of free chase on it to the Merlay family, is called Elchamp: it was formerly, in part, the property of Newminster Abbey; and the hospital of St. John of Jerusalem also held some lands here." 
Early History of the Merlawe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merlawe research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1296 and 1296 are included under the topic Early Merlawe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Merlawe Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Merlay, Merler, Merle and others.
Early Notables of the Merlawe family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Merlawe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Merlawe family
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Merlawe or a variant listed above: John Merle settled in Virginia in 1636; Lewis Merle settled in Philadelphia in 1852; Claude Merle settled in New Orleans in 1821; William Merlay settled in New Jersey in 1840..
Related Stories +
- ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.