Merton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Merton is one of the names that was brought to England in the wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Merton family lived in one of the places called Merton in South London, Devon, Norfolk. The family also lived in the places named Marton in Cheshire, Cleveland, Humberside, Lincolnshire, Shropshire, the North Riding in Yorkshire and Warwickshire.

There were also places named Martin in Hampshire and Lincolnshire. All of these place-names were derived from the Old English words mere, which means lake or pool, and tun, which means enclosure or settlement. [1]

Early Origins of the Merton family

The surname Merton was first found in Devon, South London, Norfolk or in Oxfordshire. The South London village is technically oldest as it dates back to Saxon times when it was listed as Mertone in 967. The remaining place name were listed as follows in the Domesday Book: Mertone (Devon); Meretone (South London); Mertuna [2]; and Meretone (Oxfordshire.) [3]

Great Torrington in Devon was home to some of the family in early times. "At a very early period it gave the title of Baron to its lords, who had the power of life and death throughout the lordship. In 1340, Richard de Merton, in whose possession it then was, erected a castle here, of which the chapel was remaining about the close of the last century (1700)." [4]

The London Borough of Merton was formed under the London Government Act 1963 and includes the Merton and Morden Urban District. Merton College is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford.

Continued our quest for early records of the surname, some of the earliest records include Adam de Mertuna in 1189 and Thomas de Marton in the Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire in 1212. [5] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 lists John de Merton and William de Merton in Oxfordshire, and Walter de Merton in Norfolk. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Alicia de Merton and Thomas de Merton. [6]

"In the reign of Henry III., Walter de Merton (c. 1205-1277), lord high chancellor of England, and afterwards Bishop of Rochester, founded [in Merton, Surrey] a seminary of learning, which he subsequently removed to Oxford, on the foundation of Merton College." [4]

Important Dates for the Merton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merton research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1277, 1400, 1394, 1277, 1274, 1585 and 1626 are included under the topic Early Merton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Merton Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Merton include Mertone, Merton, Merten, Mertens, Mertin, Mertins, Murton, Myrton, Myrtone, Mertoun and many more.

Early Notables of the Merton family (pre 1700)

Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Merton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Merton migration to the United States

In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Mertons to arrive on North American shores:

Merton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Merton, aged 23, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [7]
  • Margaret Merton, who arrived in Virginia in 1698 [7]
  • Richard Merton who settled in Barbados in 1698
Merton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William G. Merton, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1876

Merton migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Merton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Merton, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Boyne" in 1850 [8]

Merton migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Merton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Merton, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [9]
  • Mrs. Susan Merton, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [9]
  • Mr. Henry Merton, (b. 1853), aged Infant, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [9]
  • Mrs. Charlotte Merton, (b. 1818), aged 35, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [9]
  • Mr. Charles Merton, (b. 1819), aged 34, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 23rd December 1853 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Merton (post 1700)

  • Robert King Merton (1910-2003), American sociologist awarded the National Medal of Science in 1994
  • Robert C Merton (b. 1944), American economist, university professor and Nobel laureate in economics
  • Sir Walter Hugh Merton (1905-1986), English RAF Air Chief Marshall
  • John Ralph Merton (b. 1913), English Painter
  • Sir Thomas Ralph Merton KBE, FRS (1888-1969), English physicist, inventor and art collector
  • Charles Merton (1821-1868), French etcher
  • Don Merton (b. 1939), New Zealand conservationist, best known for saving the black robin from extinction
  • Robert Merton Solow (b. 1924), American economist, awarded the John Bates Clark Medal in 1961, the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences in 1987, recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014
  • Arthur Merton Chickering (1887-1974), American arachnologist who described 14 genera and 342 species
  • Lieutenant Commander Harry Merton Swyers, U.S. Navy officer at McMurdo Station in U.S. Navy Operation Deepfreeze 1976 and 1977, eponym of Swyers Point, Antarctica

Citations

  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Page, William (ed), A History of the County of Norfolk. London: Victoria County History, 1906. Print
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The barque BOYNE 1850, 521 tons. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850Boyne.htm
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
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