An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Merriman is an ancient Norman name, that would have been used in Britain soon after the Conquest of the island in 1066. This name was given to a person who was a person who was a mischievous child, or who liked to play tricks and make jokes. As for the name Merriman, 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.
The surname Merriman 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.' " 
Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Marmion, Marmyon, Merryman, Merriman and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merriman 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 Merriman History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Merriman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Merriman 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.
Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Merriman name or one of its variants:
Merriman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Merriman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Merriman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
The Merriman Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Merriman 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 21 January 2016 at 14:36.