Merrikan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Norman culture that was established in England after the Conquest of 1066 produced the name of Merrikan. It was given to a person who was a mischievous child, or who liked to play tricks and make jokes, having derived from the Old French word "marmion," meaning "monkey." [1] [2]

We include this first origin only because of the fact that two noted sources do so. We prefer another source which is just a qualified and we believe more likely.

"They appear to have been a branch of the Tessons. Ralph Tesson, who brought 120 knights of his dependence to the aid of Duke William at the battle of Val des Dunes in 1047, founded c. 1055 the Abbey of Fontenay, near Caen (Gall. Christ xi. 413). A charter of his was witnessed by William Marmion or Marmilon, probably his brother, c. 1070 (Ibid.), who, with his family possessed part of Fontenay. Robert Marmion, his son, Viscount of Fontenay-le-Tesson, passed into England with the Conqueror, and had extensive grants, his descendants a century later holding 17 fees in England and 5 in Normandy (Lib. Niger: Feoda Norm. Duchesne). [3] The Tessons of Normandy bore Gules a fesse Ermine; the Marmions Vair a fesse Gules." [4]

Early Origins of the Merrikan family

The surname Merrikan was first found in Warwickshire.

"They were, it is said, the hereditary Champions of Normandy; and after the Conquest, Robert de Marmion held the castle and manor of Tamworth that he received Tamworth from the Conqueror 'is verified,' says Dugdale, by an ancient window in this church, where the said King, 'being depicted in his Robes of State, and crowned, stretcheth forth his hand to him, holding a Charter therein, neer the Gate of a faire Castle.' in Warwickshire and Scrivelsby in Lincolnshire by the tenure of performing that office at the King's coronation; being bound 'to ride completely armed upon a barbed horse into Westminster Hall, and there to challenge the combat with whomsoever should dare to oppose the King's title to the crown.' His seat was at Tamworth Castle, the head of his Warwickshire barony." [5]

Robert Marmion (died 1218), the 6th Baron of Tamworth, was an English nobleman, an itinerant justice and was reputed to have been the King's Champion."The chiefs of this great house are stated to have been hereditary champions to the Dukes of Normandy, prior to the Conquest of England: certain it is, that Robert de Marmyon, Lord of Fonteney, Robert de Marmyon, Lord of Fonteney, obtained from his royal master, not long after the battle of Hastings, a grant of the manors of Tamworth, co. Warwick, and Scivelsby, co. Lincoln, the latter to be held 'by service of performing the office of champion at the King's Coronation.' " [6] [7]

Early History of the Merrikan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merrikan research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1425, 1489, 1603, 1639, 1449 and 1302 are included under the topic Early Merrikan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Merrikan Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Marmion, Marmyon, Merryman, Merriman and others.

Early Notables of the Merrikan family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Baron Marmyon of Tamworth, Simon Marmion (c. 1425-1489), a French or Burgundian Early Netherlandish painter of panels and illuminated manuscript. Shackerley [Shakerley, Shakerly, Schackerley] Marmion [Marmyon, Marmyun, or Mermion] (1603-1639), was...
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Merrikan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Merrikan family to Ireland

Some of the Merrikan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Merrikan family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Merrikan or a variant listed above: Henry and Margaret Marman, who settled in Virginia in 1732; Mary Marmion settled in Virginia in 1654; Mathew and Jane Marmion arrived in Philadelphia in 1871.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Liber Niger Scutarii ("Black Book of the Exchequer"), containing reports by county on feudal holdings in England in 1166 (reign of Henry II)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  6. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  7. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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