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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, German


The birthplace of the surname Messerlee is Cornwall, a rugged peninsula in southwestern England that is noted for its strong Gaelic traditions. Though surnames became common during medieval times, English people were formerly known only by a single name. The way in which hereditary surnames were adopted in medieval England is fascinating. Under the Feudal System of government, surnames evolved and they often reflected life on the manor and in the field. Despite the fact that occupational surnames are rare among the Cornish People, they nevertheless sometimes adopted surnames derived from the type of work they did. The surname Messerlee was an occupational name for a harvester having derived from the Old French word messier, meaning harvester or reaper.

Messerlee Early Origins



The surname Messerlee was first found in Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, where they held a family seat some say, before the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 A.D. by Duke William of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.

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Messerlee Spelling Variations


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Messerlee Spelling Variations



Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Messervy, Messerwy, Messervey, Misservy, Misservey, Meserwy, Messerwey, Messewey, Messewy, Messarmy, Messarmey, Masservy, Masserwy, Messerly and many more.

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Messerlee Early History


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Messerlee Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Messerlee research. Another 301 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1685, 1760, 1861, 1928 and 1760 are included under the topic Early Messerlee History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Messerlee Early Notables (pre 1700)


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Messerlee Early Notables (pre 1700)



Another 27 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Messerlee Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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The Great Migration


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The Great Migration



Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Messerlee family to immigrate North America:

Messerlee Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Jacob Messerlee settled in Philadelphia in 1840

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Motto


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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: Au valeureux coeur rien impossible
Motto Translation: To the valiant heart, nothing is impossible.


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Messerlee Family Crest Products


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Messerlee Family Crest Products




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See Also


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See Also




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Citations


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Citations



    Other References

    1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
    3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
    4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    6. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
    7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
    11. ...

    The Messerlee Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Messerlee Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 3 July 2014 at 08:59.

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