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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The name Merritt arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Merritt family lived in Leicestershire. Their name, however, is a reference to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Marriot in Normandy. While many of the family settled in England, some stayed behind in Normandy as shown by Richard Mareta who was listed there (1180-1195.) 
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 Marriott, Mariott, Marriot, Marritt, Marrot, Marrotte, Mariatt, Maryet, Maryott, Marryatt, Mariate, Merritt, Merriott and many more.
First found in Somerset at Merriott, a parish, in the union of Chard, hundred of Crewkerne.  This parish was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Meriet  and possibly meant "boundary gate," from the Old English words "maere" + "geat."  Some of the first listings of the name include: Alric filius Meriet; and Aelric Meriete in 1066 and Aegel filius Mergeati c. 1086. Symon Meriet was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1202.  The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: John de Meriet in Lincolnshire; and Simon de Meriet in Somerset. 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merritt research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1614, 1695, 1657, 1679, 1708, 1695 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Merritt History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 117 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Merritt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Merritt family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
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 Merritt or a variant listed above:
Merritt Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Nicholas Merritt, who arrived in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1648
- Henry Merritt, who landed in Virginia in 1651
- George Merritt, who arrived in Virginia in 1657
- Thomas Merritt, who arrived in Connecticut in 1662
- Ruth Merritt, who arrived in Maryland in 1677
Merritt Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- James Merritt, who landed in Virginia in 1714
- Margery Merritt, who arrived in Virginia in 1722
- Vinson Merritt, who landed in Virginia in 1724
Merritt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Samuel Merritt, aged 21, landed in Maryland in 1813
- David Merritt, aged 38, landed in Massachusetts in 1813
- Robert Merritt, who landed in New York in 1831
- William F Merritt, who arrived in New York in 1842
- Isaac Merritt, aged 33, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1847
Merritt Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Thomas Merritt Sr., U.E. (B. 1729) born in New York, USA from Long Island, New York, USA who settled in Saint Johns, New Brunswick c. 1783 he arrived aboard the ship "Montague", married to Amy Purdy having 7 children, he died in 1821
- Mr. Robert Merritt U.E. (b. 1731) born in New York, USA from Westchester County, New York, USA who settled in Saint Johns, New Brunswick c. 1784 married to Elizabeth Robinson having 6 children, he became a Freeman in 1785, he died in 1802
- Mr. Caleb Merritt U.E. (b. 1763) born in New York, USA who settled in Saint Johns, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1821
- Mr. Joseph Merritt U.E. (b. 1742) born in North Castle, New York, USA from Fishkill, Dutchess County, New York, USA who settled in Home District, [Niagara], Ontario c. 1784 married to Mary (Polly) Parker having 11 children, he died in 1813
- Mr. Nathaniel Merritt U.E. who settled in St. John River, New Brunswick c. 1784
Merritt Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Elizabeth Merritt arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eden" in 1838
- Eliza Merritt arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Eden" in 1838
- John Merritt arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839
- Elizabeth Merritt arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lysander" in 1839
- Francis Merritt, aged 27, a mason, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "John Banks"
Merritt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Thomas J. Merritt, aged 21, a miller, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Conflict" in 1874
- Thomas E. Merritt, aged 37, a mechanic, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
- Charlotte Merritt, aged 28, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
- Martha Merritt, aged 58, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Howrah" in 1874
- Catherine Tift Merritt (b. 1975), American singer-songwriter
- Gilbert Stroud Merritt Jr. (b. 1936), American lawyer and jurist, Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (1997-2001)
- Chris Merritt (b. 1952), American opera singer from Oklahoma City
- Abraham Grace Merritt (1884-1943), American editor and author
- Wesley Merritt (1836-1910), United States Army general in the American Civil War and the Spanish-American War
- Stephin Merritt (b. 1966), American singer-songwriter
- H. Houston Merritt (1902-1979), American dean of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons from 1958 to 1970
- Maxwell James "Max" Merritt (b. 1941), New Zealand-born singer-songwriter and guitarist from Christchurch, inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Association Hall of Fame
- Nathan Merritt (b. 1983), Australian professional rugby league footballer from Sydney, New South Wales
- Max Merritt (b. 1941), Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist
- Burris Ancestors by Arthur Price Burris.
- Historical Perspective of Charles Merritt, ca. 1652-1718 by King Merritt.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
- Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
- Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
- Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
- Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
- Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
- Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
- Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
The Merritt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Merritt 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 2 March 2016 at 13:23.
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