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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Welsh


The ancestors of the Celtic name Merriam came from the rugged landscape of Wales. This old, proud name derives from the personal name Meuric, which is the Welsh form of Maurice. The surname Merriam is ultimately derived from the Latin personal name Mauritius, which means "dark." In Britain, Maurice was the learned form of the name, while Morice was the common form.

Merriam Early Origins



The surname Merriam was first found in Anglesey (Welsh: Ynys Môn), a Welsh-speaking island, and present day County of Isle of Anglesey, located at the northwestern extremity of Wales, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

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Merriam Spelling Variations


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Merriam Spelling Variations



There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Merriam have included Merrick, Merick, Meyrick, Meynik and others.

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Merriam Early History


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Merriam Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merriam research. Another 235 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1190, 1505, 1566, 1538, 1599, 1576, 1599, 1556, 1601, 1563, 1640, 1636, 1713, 1674, 1712, 1714, 1666 and 1660 are included under the topic Early Merriam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Merriam Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Merriam Early Notables (pre 1700)



Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Rowland Meyrick (1505-1566), born at Bodargan in the parish of Llangadwaladr, Anglesey, a Welsh bishop of Bangor; John Meyrick (or Merick, Mericke, or Merrick), M.A. (1538-1599), an Anglican clergyman who served in the Church of England as the Bishop of Sodor...

Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Merriam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Merriam In Ireland


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Merriam In Ireland



Some of the Merriam family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 61 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Many Welsh families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North Ameri ca. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Merriam were found:

Merriam Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Joseph Merriam, who landed in Massachusetts in 1638
  • William Merriam, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1638

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Contemporary Notables of the name Merriam (post 1700)


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Contemporary Notables of the name Merriam (post 1700)



  • Charles Willis Merriam (1877-1961), American Republican politician, Insurance business; Member of New York State Assembly from Schenectady County 1st District, 1924-31
  • Charles H. Merriam, American politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Jackson County 1st District, 1934
  • Charles E. Merriam, American Republican politician, Candidate for Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, 1911
  • Amzy Merriam, American Republican politician, Member of Wisconsin State Assembly from Walworth County, 1871
  • Clinton Levi Merriam (1824-1900), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from New York, 1871-75
  • D. H. Merriam, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1868
  • De Witt H. Merriam, American Republican politician, Circuit Judge in Michigan 3rd Circuit, 1923-45; Resigned 1945
  • Frank Finley Merriam (1865-1955), American Republican politician, Lieutenant Governor of California, 1931-34; Governor of California, 1934-39; Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1940
  • George Merriam, American Republican politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1996
  • George W. Merriam, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1892
  • ... (Another 19 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

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Merriam Family Crest Products


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Merriam Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    2. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    3. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
    5. Morgan, T. J. Morgan and Prys Morgan. Welsh Surnames. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 1985. Print.
    6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    7. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
    8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    11. ...

    The Merriam Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Merriam Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 29 January 2016 at 08:58.

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