Merriken History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The name Merriken comes from the ancient Norman culture that was established in Britain after the Conquest of 1066. It was a name for a person who was a mischievous child, or who liked to play tricks and make jokes. As for the name Merriken, nicknames often described strong traits or features of animals. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demigods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans.
Early Origins of the Merriken family
The surname Merriken was first found in Warwickshire. One of the first records of the surname was Robert Marmion (died 1218), the 6th Baron of Tamworth, an English nobleman, an itinerant justice and was reputed to have been the King's Champion. He claimed descendancy from the lords of Fontenay le Marmion in Normandy, hereditary champions of the Dukes of Normandy. "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.' " 
Important Dates for the Merriken family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merriken 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 Merriken History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Merriken Spelling Variations
Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Marmion, Marmyon, Merryman, Merriman and others.
Early Notables of the Merriken 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), an...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Merriken Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Merriken family to Ireland
Some of the Merriken 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 Merriken family
For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Merriken or a variant listed above were: 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.
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- ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.