The present generation of the Mersdin family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon
culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in the settlements named Marsden in Lancashire
and the West Riding of Yorkshire
. The surname Mersdin 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 Mersdin family
The surname Mersdin 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 Mersdin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mersdin research.Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1738, 1625, 1688, 1680 and 1681 are included under the topic Early Mersdin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Mersdin Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred
years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations
in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon
and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Mersdin include Marsden, Marsdon and others.
Early Notables of the Mersdin family (pre 1700)
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mersdin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Mersdin family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England
at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Mersdin were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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 Mersdin 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.