Mersden is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Mersden family once lived in the settlements named Marsden in Lancashire
and the West Riding of Yorkshire
. The surname Mersden belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation
names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.
Early Origins of the Mersden family
The surname Mersden was first found in Lancashire
at Great Marsden or Little Marsden. "This place was anciently called Merclesden, and Merlesden. In the 35th of Henry III., Edmund de Lacy obtained a charter for free warren in "Great and Little Merlesden;" and in the 4th of Edward II., a fishery existed here, by grant from Henry de Lacy. Richard Merclesden was master forester of Blackburnshire to Isabella, dowager queen, in the reign of Edward III.; and in the same reign, Henry, Duke of Lancaster, granted a tract of land in Merclesden to Richard de Walton. " CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
Another reference lists the place name as Marchesden in the 12th century and probably meant "boundary water." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
However, we believe that the former origin of the place name and surname is more likely. One of the earliest records of the name was Alan de Marchesden who was listed in the Assize Rolls of Lancashire
in 1246. CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
The Yorkshire Poll Tax
Rolls of 1273 listed Robert de Marcheden, Nicholaus Mercheden and Johanna de Mersseden. CITATION[CLOSE]
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Mersden family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mersden research.Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1738, 1625, 1688, 1680 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Mersden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Mersden Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Mersden family name include Marsden, Marsdon and others.
Early Notables of the Mersden family (pre 1700)
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mersden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Mersden family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Mersden surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Francis Marsden settled in Virginia in 1635; Christopher Marsden settled in Virginia in 1700; Charles, Denton, Edward, Francis, George, Horatio, James, John, Thomas and William Marsden all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860..
The Mersden Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Mars denique victor es
Motto Translation: Mars, though art the conqueror.