Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Marks Name
England, Italy, Germany
Origins of Name:
The surname of Marks has many possible origins and derivations. Firstly, Marks can possibly have derived from being a patronymic surname meaning “son of Mark.” Oftentimes, the addition of an “s” on a personal name denotes that the surname is patronymic. This surname could mean that the person who bore it was a son of Mark, which comes from the Latin personal name “Marcus” which is believed to derive directly from Mars, who was the Roman God of War. In Europe, this name was largely popular due to St. Mark the Evangelist, who supposedly wrote the second Gospel in the Bible, and eventually became the Bishop of Alexandria and the Patron Saint of the City of Venice. This surname may also possibly be of a topographical or locational derivative, from the Old English word “mearc” which meant “mark” or “border.” This surname could mean that the original bearer of this surname lived near a border of some kind, or could also be named after the city of Mark near Highbrigde in Somerset.
More common variations are:
Mark, Marx, Markes, Markus, Marcks, Markis, Markos, Markas, Mareks, Markys, Markss, Marksa
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Marks was in the year 1288. One person named Robertus Markes, was recorded and mentioned in the Court Rolls of the Abbey of Ramsey in the year 1288, written and decreed under the reign of King Edward I, who was commonly referred to as “The Hammer of the Scots” and ruled from the year 1272 to the year 1307. Other early recordings of this surname are of legend. Marcus, the Brit, was said to be named Roman Empire in the year 406 A.D. but there is no record of this name. Robertus Marcus was named in Hampshire in 1148, and Philip Marc was named in Nottinghamshire in 1209. John Marks from Devonshire, and George Marks from Cornwall were named in the Oxford University Register in the years 1575 and 1593 respectively. In England, those with the surname of Marks are often found in the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Yorkshire, Lanarkshire and the city of London.
In Scotland, those who bore the surname of Marks were highly concentrated in the areas of Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, Angus, and Midlothian counties.
United States of America:
The early 1600s was period of history when the Great European Migration began to occur. This was when European citizens were sick of the lives that they had in their home country, and migrated out of it looking for a better life with more freedoms and a better standard of living. The United States was a common area that these settlers flocked to, because of the recent development and discovery of this new land. The first settler to the New World who bore the surname of Marks was one Walgrave Marks, who landed in the state of Virginia between the year 1624 and the year 1625. Poor recording and the new state of the country may cause the discrepancy in this date. In the United States those with the surname of Marks were originally concentrated in the state areas of New York, Pennsylvania, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Ohio and the state of Michigan.
United States 58,604
South Africa 6,959
Brigadier-General Edwin Hall Marks (1887-1967) who was an American Commanding General at Fort Belvoir in Virginia from the year 1941 to the year 1942
Laurence Marks (1915-1993) who was an American writer for both radio and TV shows including the popular hit M*A*S*H
Mrs. Elizabeth Marks (died in 1915) who was an English Third Class Passenger from Bristol, England who died in the sinking of the RMS Lusitania
Miss Georgina Marks (died in 1915) who was an English Third Class Passenger from Bristol, England who died in the sinking of the RMS Lusitania
Mr. J Marks (died in 1912) who was an English Assistant Pantryman Steward from Southampton Hampshire. He was working aboard the famous RMS Titanic and died during the sinking of the ship.
Leoplold Samuel Marks (1920-2001) who was an Englush cryptographer, screenwriter, and playwright. His most famous work was the screenplay Peeping Tom
Simon Marks (1888-1964) who was an English businessman
David Marks, who was an English psychologist and professor at City University in London, England
Dennis Howard Marks (1945-2016) who was a Welsh drug smuggler who became an author
Marks Coat of Arms Meaning
The two main devices (symbols) in the Marks blazon are the semee-de-lis and lion. The four main tinctures (colors) are ermine, or, gules and argent.
Ermine is a very ancient pattern, and distinctive to observe. It was borne alone by John de Monfort, the Earl of Richmond and Duke of Brittany in the late 14th century It has a long association with royalty and the nobility in general and hence represents “Dignity” wherever it is found . The ermine pattern is white with, typically, a three dots and a dart grouping representing the tail of the furred creature.. The ermine spot is sometimes found alone as a special charge on the shield.
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
The word semee is an old word that is best translated as “strewn” or “scattered with” and refers to the background of the shield, or large shapes upon, being sprinkled with a large number of the following objects. . Indeed semee-de-lis is itself another shorthand term for a field being scattered with fleur-de-lys. Most famously, a shield azure semee-de-lis or is indelibly linked to the nation of France.
The art of heraldry would be significantly poorer if we were without the lion in all its forms. Most general works on Heraldry devote at least one chapter solely to this magnificent creature and its multifarious depictions . Some of the earliest known examples of heraldry, dating right back to the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou in 1127, where he is shown with six such beasts upon his shield .The great authority on heraldic symbology, Wade, points out the high place that the lion holds in heraldry, “as the emblem of deathless courage” , a sentiment echoed equally today.