Merler History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Merler reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Merler family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Merler 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 Merler family
The surname Merler 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 Merler family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merler research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1066 and 1296 are included under the topic Early Merler History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Merler 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 Merlay, Merler, Merle and others.
Early Notables of the Merler family
More information is included under the topic Early Merler Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
| Merler migration to the United States
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 Merler name or one of its variants:
Merler Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Jon Merler, who arrived in Virginia in 1631 
- 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.
- 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)