Merven History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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The name of Merven is Celtic in origin, arising from the ancient Britons of Wales. The name's specific origins were derived from the Welsh personal name Mervin, which originally took the form Merlin. The magician Merlin plays an important role in Arthurian legend and is given the attributes of a Celtic druid. He figures prominently in early Welsh writings, and the first full-fledged treatment of him is given in the Libellus Merlini (Little Book of Merlin), a Latin tract written by Geoffrey of Monmouth c. 1135.
Early Origins of the Merven family
The surname Merven was first found in Wiltshire, where this distinguished Welsh family claim descent from Mervyn Vrych, (Merfyn Frych 'Merfyn the Freckled', Merfyn ap Gwriad 'Merfyn son of Gwriad', Merfyn Camwri 'Merfyn the Oppressor') an 11th century Lord of Anglesey, who settled in Wiltshire on the English Welsh border. He is thought to have died around 844 and was King of Gwynedd from around 825 to his death. He came from a long line of nobility.
Llywelyn ap Merfyn (died 942) was King of Powys, son of Merfyn ap Rhodri, and grandson of Rhodri the Great. His father, Merfyn ap Rhodri (died c.900) was also King of Powis (878-900.) Mystery surrounds his death. Some believe he died due to the incursion into Anglesey by the Viking Ingimundr. Others believe he lost his realm to an invasion by his brother Cadell, King of Ceredigion.
All trace back to Rhodri ap Merfyn (c. 820-878), later known as Rhodri the Great (Welsh: Rhodri Mawr), who succeeded his father, Merfyn Frych, as King of Gwynedd in 844. He is referred to "King of the Britons" by the Annals of Ulster and later as the "King of Wales."
Important Dates for the Merven family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Merven research. Another 39 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1799, 1603, 1675, 1661 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Merven History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Merven Spelling Variations
The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. It was up to the priest or the scribe taking the official records to determine how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Merven have included Mervyn, Mervin, Mervyng, Merwin and others.
Early Notables of the Merven family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Merven Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Merven family to Ireland
Some of the Merven family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Merven family
Many Welsh families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North America. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Merven were found: Andrew Mervine, whose Oath of Allegiance was recorded in Pennsylvania in 1779; Ferdinand Mervyn, who settled in Philadelphia in 1808; and Alexander Mervin, who was recorded as a British Alien in the United States during the War of 1812..