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


The name Myrtle arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Myrtle comes from the popular medieval given name Martin. It derives from the Latin Martinus, which comes from Mars, the Roman God of War.

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The surname Myrtle was first found in Essex where they held a family seat from at Abbess Roding. One of the most famous early references of the surname was William Martel (1130-1153), English steward of the royal households of King Henry I and King Stephen of England, castellan of Sherborne Castle until 1143. Some of the family were found at Whaddon in Buckinghamshire in early times. " A small priory of Benedictine monks, in honour of St. Leonard, was founded in this parish, at Snelleshall, prior to the time of Henry III., by Ralph Martel, and at the Dissolution had a revenue of 24." [1]

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Martel, Mortel, Martell, Mortell and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Myrtle research. Another 199 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1204, 1130, 1153 and 1143 are included under the topic Early Myrtle History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Myrtle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Myrtle family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 39 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Myrtle or a variant listed above: K. Martell who settled in Boston in 1823; Antonio Martel settled in New Orleans in 1778 with Francesca his wife and children; Nicholas Martel settled in Louisiana in 1719..

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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  7. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  8. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Myrtle Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Myrtle 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 1 March 2016 at 11:10.

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