Show ContentsMerrell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Merrell is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Merrell family name comes from the personal name Muriel, which is composed of the Celtic elements muir, which means sea, and gael, which means bright. This personal name was extremely common during the Middle Ages in Continental Europe. It was introduced to England by the Breton settlers who accompanied Norman the Conqueror. In Northern England, the name was also imported by the Norsemen from Ireland and in Western England the name developed as a result of Welsh influence. [1]

Early Origins of the Merrell family

The surname Merrell was first found in Lancashire where one of the first records of the name was Ougrim filius Miriel who was listed there in the Pipe Rolls of 1188. A few years later, Mirielis, Muriella de Stokes was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Buckinghamshire in 1203 and later Johannes filius Miriald was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Yorkshire in 1208. Continuing in Lancashire, Godric Miriild, Mirild, Mirield was listed in the Pipe Rolls (1184-1188) and Robert, Richard Muriel was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1195. By this time some of the family was found in Suffolk where John Myrel was listed in the Subsidy Rolls in 1327, Richard Meryel and Walter Merel was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1381. [2] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Matilda Miriel in Cambridgeshire; Henry filius Mirield in Lincolnshire; Robert filius Muriel in Huntingdonshire; Thomas filius Muriel in Shropshire; and Richard Miriel in Norfolk. [3]

Early History of the Merrell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merrell research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 135 and 1350 are included under the topic Early Merrell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Merrell Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Merrell has been recorded under many different variations, including Merrill, Meyrill, Merell, Merells, Meyrell and many more.

Early Notables of the Merrell family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Merrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Merrell Ranking

In the United States, the name Merrell is the 4,687th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [4]

United States Merrell migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Merrells were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Merrell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Nathaniel Merrell, who landed in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1633 [5]
  • Henry Merrell, who arrived in Virginia in 1666 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Merrell (post 1700) +

  • Walter S. Merrell (1828-1901), American politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives; Probate judge in Connecticut [6]
  • Robert Warren Merrell (1887-1932), American politician, Mayor of Gilbert, Arizona, 1921-23 [6]
  • Richard H. Merrell, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1952 [6]
  • Lucy Howe Merrell, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1940 [6]
  • Joseph Merrell (b. 1859), American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Michigan State Constitutional Convention 3rd District, 1907-08; Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1916 [6]
  • John Merrell, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Indiana, 1960 [6]
  • Henry Merrell, American politician, Member of Wisconsin State Senate 2nd District, 1848-49 [6]
  • George Robert Merrell (1898-1962), American politician, U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, 1949; Afghanistan, 1951-52 [6]
  • Emilie C. Merrell, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Collingdale, Pennsylvania, 1888-93 [6]
  • Edwin Clay Merrell, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Halifax, 1919; Hamilton, 1921-32 [6]
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from on Facebook