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Mervyn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The name of Mervyn 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 Mervyn family


The surname Mervyn 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."


Early History of the Mervyn family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mervyn research.
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1799, 1603, 1675, 1661 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Mervyn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mervyn Spelling Variations


Although there are not an extremely large number Welsh surnames, there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations of those surnames. This variety of spellings began almost immediately after the acceptance of surnames within Welsh society. As time progressed, these old Brythonic names were eventually were recorded in English. This process was problematic in that many of the highly inflected sounds of the native language of Wales could not be properly captured in English. Some families, however, did decide to modify their own names to indicate a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even a patriotic affiliation. The name Mervyn has seen various spelling variations: Mervyn, Mervin, Mervyng, Merwin and others.

Early Notables of the Mervyn family (pre 1700)


Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mervyn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Mervyn family to Ireland


Some of the Mervyn 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 Mervyn family to the New World and Oceana


In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in search of land, work, and freedom. These immigrants greatly contributed to the rapid development of the new nations of Canada and the United States. They also added a rich and lasting cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. Investigation of immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Mervyn:

Mervyn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Ferdinand Mervyn, who settled in Philadelphia in 1808

Contemporary Notables of the name Mervyn (post 1700)


  • Chris Mervyn, American actor, born Chris Mervyn Jeyaprakash, he has appeared in Wmd (2011) and Bad Milo (2013)
  • Richard Mervyn, American cinematographer and producer, known for Sky High (2001), Fast Flight: British Isles (2006) and Six Centuries of Verse (1984)
  • David Hunter Mervyn, New Zealand politician, Member of Parliament for Mount Ida (1871-1875)
  • Glen Alexander Mervyn (1937-2000), Canadian silver medalist rower at the 1960 Summer Olympics
  • William Mervyn (1912-1976), English actor, best known for his role as the bishop in the clerical comedy All Gas and Gaiters
  • Dr. Todd Mervyn McEachren, Canadian ophthalmologist in St. John's, Newfoundland
  • Sir Edward Mervyn Archdale (1853-1943), 1st Baronet of Riversdale, County of Fermanagh, Northern Irish politician, High Sheriff of Fermanagh for 1884, appointed to the Privy Council of Ireland in the 1921
  • Wilfrid Mervyn Lusty (1907-1987), New Zealand journalist, drama critic, theatre administrator and adult educationalist from Auckland
  • Leo Mervyn Nott (1915-1992), Australian politician, Member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly (1953 to 1968) and (1971 to 1973)
  • William Mervyn Carrick (b. 1946), former Unionist politician in Northern Ireland

The Mervyn 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: De Dieu tout
Motto Translation: From God everything.


Mervyn Family Crest Products



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