Merriman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Merriman family

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.' " [1]

Important Dates for the Merriman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merriman 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 Merriman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Merriman Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Merriman 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 Merriman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Merriman family to Ireland

Some of the Merriman 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.

Merriman migration to the United States

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
  • Nathaniel Merriman, who settled in Massachusetts in 1632
  • James Merriman, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [2]
  • Sarah Merriman, who settled in Virginia in 1635 with George, her husband
  • Sara Merriman, aged 20, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [2]
  • Edward Merriman, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Merriman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Merriman, who landed in New York in 1832 [2]
  • Isaac Merriman, who landed in New York in 1832 [2]
Merriman Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • John William Bowman Merriman, who landed in California in 1903 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Merriman (post 1700)

  • Roger Bigelow Merriman (1876-1945), American historian and a biographer of Thomas Cromwell
  • Truman Adams Merriman (1839-1892), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York
  • Ryan Earl Merriman (b. 1983), American actor, best known for portraying Jake in The Ring Two (2005)
  • John M. Merriman (b. 1946), American Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale University
  • Edgar C. Merriman (1840-1894), American officer in the United States Navy, Commander of the Department of Alaska (1882-1883)
  • Robert E. Merriman (1916-1983), American Tony Award winning producer and Drama Desk Award winning actor
  • Robert Hale Merriman (1908-1938), American academic and soldier, Professor of economics at the University of California, Commander of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War
  • Shawne DeAndre Merriman (b. 1984), American former NFL football linebacker, nicknamed "Lights Out", NFL sacks leader (2006), AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year (2005), Sporting News Rookie of the Year (2005)
  • Richard Peter Merriman (b. 1958), English cricketer
  • The Rt Rev Nathaniel James Merriman DD (1809-1882), English clergyman, 3rd Bishop of Grahamstown (1871-1882)
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Merriman family

HMS Cornwall
  • Charles Edward Leo Merriman (d. 1942), British Petty Officer aboard the HMS Cornwall when she was struck by air bombers and sunk; he died in the sinking [3]


  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ Force Z Survivors Crew List HMS Cornwall (Retrieved 2018, February 13th) - Retrieved from
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