Merrimam History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England 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, 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 Merrimam family

The surname Merrimam 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 Merrimam family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merrimam 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 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), was...
Another 39 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.

Ireland 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 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 Merrimam family

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.



  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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