Marley Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History


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Marley Origin:

Origins of Marley:
This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is locational from any of the different places thus called, including Marley in Devonshire, Durham, Kent and the West Riding of Yorkshire, or Marley Farm in Brede (Sussex).  The Yorkshire place noted as “Mardelai” in the Domesday Book of 1086, acquires its first component from the Olde English pre 7th Century “mearth” which means (pine) marten, plus “leah,” wood or clearing.  This latter element is common to all the places mentioned above.  Marley in Durham and Devonshire noted as “Merleia” and “Merlegh” in 1183 and 1242 respectively, share the similar first component, i.e. the Olde English “(ge)maer,” a boundary. So, “(ge)maer-leah”.  Marley in Kent, noted as “Merille” in the 1242 Fine Court Rolls of that division, has as its first component the Olde English “myrig,” pleasant.  Locational surnames advanced when old residents of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work and best identified by the name of their birthplace.  The surname first noted in the mid-12th Century, and other early records contain as Thomas de Mardele and John de Marley (Yorkshire 1208 and 1285 respectively).  In April 1573, Agnes Marley and John Pyppen married at St. James’ Clerkenwell, London.  A Coat of Arms given to the family depicts three silver dolphins naiant embowed on a black bend, all on a gold shield.

More common variations are: Mahrley, Mairley, Marley, Mareley, Mearley, Maroley, Mariley, Marleye, Marrleye, Marrley, Marleey.

The origins of the surname Marley appeared in Cheshire where people held a family seat from early times.  Someone say better before the success of Normans and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings1066 A.D.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of William de Merlai, dated about circa 1145, in the “Book of Seals of Durham.”  It was during the time of King Stephen, who was known to be the “Count of Blois,” dated 1135 – 1154.  The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation.  It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.  Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.



Many of the people with surname Marley had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Marley landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th.    Some of the people with the name Marley who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Thomas Marley, who landed in Maryland in 1641.  John Marley, who came to Virginia in 1658.  Roger Marley, who settled in Virginia in 1660.  Roger Marley, who arrived in Virginia in 1660.  Francis Marley, who came to Maryland in 1663.

People with the surname Marley who landed in the United States in the 18th century included John Marley, who came to Maryland in 1730.  Manus Marley, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745.

The following century saw more Marley surnames arrive.  Some of the people with the surname Marley who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Peter Marley, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813.  James Marley, who came to Baltimore in 1828.  James Marley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851.  George, James, John, Michael, Patrick, Richard, Thomas, and William Marley, who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.

People with the surname Marley settled in Canada in two different centuries respectively in the 18th and 19th.  Some of the individuals with the surname Marley who came to Canada in the 18th century included John Marley, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750.

The following century saw much more Marley surnames arrive.  People with the surname Marley who settled in Canada in the 19th century included Ann Marley, aged 24, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship “Cupid” in 1834.

Some of the individuals with the surname Marley who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Marley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Childe Harold” in 1849.  Margaret Marley, aged 21, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship “Rodney.”

Here is the population distribution of the last name Marley:
United States 7,699; England 3,942; Brazil 3,768; Ghana 2,556; Angola 1,401; Kenya 863; Mexico 785; Australia 694; France 661; Northern Ireland 584

Notable People:
Rita Marley was a singer.
Cedella Marley was a Booker, singer and writer, and mother of Bob Marley.
Cedella Marley is a musician and clothing designer, daughter of Bob Marley.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Ar. two bars wavy gu.
2) (co. Durham). Ar. a chev. betw. three martlets sa.
3) Or, on a bend sa. three dolphins naiant embowed ar.

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