Murton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Murton is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Murton 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 Murton family

The surname Murton 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]

Early History of the Murton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murton 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 Murton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Murton Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Mertone, Merton, Merten, Mertens, Mertin, Mertins, Murton, Myrton, Myrtone, Mertoun and many more.

Early Notables of the Murton family (pre 1700)

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

United States Murton migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Murton name or one of its variants:

Murton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Murton, who arrived in Virginia in 1658 [7]
  • William Murton, who landed in Virginia in 1662 [7]
  • John Murton, who settled in Jamaica in 1685
Murton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • F. Murton, who settled in New York, NY in 1878

Australia Murton migration to Australia +

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

Murton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Murton, aged 36, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Royal Charlie" [8]
  • Miss Mary Murton, (b. 1823), aged 32, Cornish domestic servant departing from Plymouth on 22nd November 1854 aboard the ship "Marchioness of Salisbury" arriving in Geelong, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 21st February 1855 [9]
  • Miss Mahala Murton, (b. 1836), aged 19, Cornish domestic servant departing from Plymouth on 2nd June 1855 aboard the ship "Cairngorm" arriving in Geelong, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 5th September 1855 [9]
  • Mr. William Murton, (b. 1835), aged 21, Cornish agricultural labourer departing from Plymouth on 31st August 1856 aboard the ship "Severn" arriving in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on 9th December 1856 [9]
  • William Murton, aged 23, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Marion" [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Murton (post 1700) +

  • Thomas O. "Tom" Murton (1928-1990), American penologist, known for his wardenship of the prison farms of Arkansas, inspiration for the 1980 Robert Redford movie, Brubaker
  • Thomas William Murton (b. 1858), American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Grenoble, 1895-1902; U.S. Vice & Deputy Consul in Grenoble, 1902-14 [11]
  • Peter William Murton (1924-2009), English motion picture art director and production designer, known for his work on Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), Goldfinger (1964), Stargate (1994) and Thunderball (1965)
  • Lt. Colonel Henry Oscar Murton OBE (1914-2009), Baron Murton of Lindisfarne, English politician, made a member of the Privy council in 1976
  • Phillip "Phil" Murton (b. 1973), former Australian rules footballer
  • William Lionel Murton (1915-2006), English-born, Canadian character actor, known for his roles in The Dickie Henderson Show (1960), Patton (1970) and many more
  • Matthew Henry Murton (b. 1981), Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Murton F. Pinney, American Republican politician, Mayor of Delaware, Ohio, 1952-54 [12]

  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. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 25th May 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Royal Charlie 1854. Retrieved
  9. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  10. ^ South Australian Register 1857. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Marion 1857. Retrieved
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 17) . Retrieved from
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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