The Norman Conquest
in 1066 brought many new words to England
from which surnames were formed. Merrimam was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a person who was a mischievous child, or who liked to play tricks and make jokes. As for the name Merrimam, 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 Merrimam family
The surname Merrimam 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.' " CITATION[CLOSE]
Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
Early History of the Merrimam family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merrimam research.Another 181 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1425, 1489, 1603, 1639, 1449 and 1302 are included under the topic Early Merrimam History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Merrimam Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations
characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England
also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Marmion, Marmyon, Merryman, Merriman and others.
Early Notables of the Merrimam 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 Merrimam Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Merrimam family to Ireland
Some of the Merrimam family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 49 words (4 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 Merrimam family to the New World and Oceana
Many English families left England
, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Merrimam 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.