Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Merriman Name
Origins of Merriman:
The surname of Merriman is believed to be a rather uncommon surname, though it is largely found in the British Isles. The surname itself can be derived from the Old English Pre 7th Century personal given name of “Myrige,” which can be translated to mean “merry.” This surname of Merriman was given to people as a nickname. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress. In the case of the surname of Merriman, this nickname was given to someone who was perceived to be honest, or who was a professional clown. The suffix of “man” can be translated to mean “a friend of.” Thus the surname of Merriman can be translated to mean “a friend of the honest one,” or “friend of the merry one.” However, because of the nature of the medieval period, it is possible that someone who was given the surname of Merriman was actually not merry at all. It was common in the medieval period to sarcastically give someone a nickname, denoting that the meaning was the exact opposite of the word from which the nickname came. Thus, someone who was given the nickname of Merriman might have been rather morose, or a liar.
More common variations are: Marrymen, Merrimann, Maerryman, Merryman, Marryman, Merriment, Marmon, Marimon
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Merriman can be traced to the country of England. One person by the name of Adam Muryman was recorded in the document known as the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Staffordshire in the year of 1332. This document was ordered, decreed, and written under the reign of one King Edward III of England, who was known throughout the ages, and commonly referred to as one “Edward of Windsor.” King Edward III of England ruled from the year of 1327 to the year of 1377. Other mentions of the surname of Merriman in the country of England include one John Meryman, who was mentioned in the document known as the Registers of Gloucester, also known as the “Letter Books” in the year of 1359, while one Adam Myryman was mentioned in the Poll Tax Rolls of the city of York in the year of 1379.
United States of America:
Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, it became common for European citizens to migrate to the United States of America in search of a new and better life for them and their families. These citizens were often dissatisfied with the state of their government, thus they emigrated out. This large movement of people was known as the European Migration. Among those who migrated was one Nathaniel Merriman, who arrived in the state of Massachusetts in the year of 1632.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Merriman: United States 10,490; England 2,296; Australia 587; Ireland 557; Canada 535; South Africa 292; New Zealand 241; Wales 237; Mexico 105; Scotland 92
Roger Bigelow Merriman (1876-1945) who was a biographer of Thomas Cromwell and a historian from America.
Truman Adams Merriman (1839-1892) who served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of New York, and who was a politician from America.
Ryan Earl Merriman (born in 1983) who is an actor from America, and who is most notably recognized for his role as Jake in The Ring II in 2005.
John M. Merriman (born in 1946) who served as a Charles Seymour Professor of History at Yale University, and who was from America.
Edgar C. Merriman (1840-1894) who served as the Commander of the Department of Alaska from the year of 1882 to the year of 1883, and who was an officer in the United States Navy.
Robert E. Merriman (1916-1983) who was a producer and Drama Desk Award winning actor and who won a Tony Award, and was from America.
Robert Hale Merriman (1908-1938) who was a Professor of economics at the University of California, served as the Commander of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion of the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War, and who was a soldier and an academic
Merriman Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Merriman blazon are the crescent, lozengy and Cornish chough. The two main tinctures (colors) are sable and argent.
Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur . In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known . Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy .
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 .
For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter . The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” .
Anyone who has seen a typical Jester’s or Harlequin’s outfit has seen the treatment known as lozengy – a pattern of interlocking diamonds of two different colours . It normally covers the whole field of the shield, as in the ancient arms of FITZ-WILLIAM, Lozengy, argent and gules, a striking example of the form.
Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name . The Cornish Chough is a member of the crow family and is often depicted as black with red or orange beak and legs. Wade gives it the role of “king of crows” and believes that its use denotes a “man of stratagems”.