Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,768 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

Surname study registered May 2016

I got into Family History from watching (or re-watching) the ‘Who do you think you are’ YouTube videos. I’ve not been doing Family History for all that long, have been doing it for about 4 years now. So I am still very new to this, (compared to others), but Family History is very addictive!

People have different reasons in doing One Name Studies, it's usually that they have 'brickwalls'. My reason/s are sightly different, while I do have 'brickwalls' with the Surname. I had been pondering on doing a one name study (ONS) for a a year or so, but wasn’t sure about committing myself in doing one.

The Surname study is a constant work in progress, but feel free to get in touch & I'll do my best to help you.

You can contact me though the Guild email or My Blog Ancestry Adventures

Variant names

Merriman is main surname being studied.

While Merryman is a variant.

Others to come.

Name origin

Surname Database & House of Names differ in the origin of the surname.

Surname Database says

This ancient surname is found in most parts of the British Isles, although is never common. It is a derivative of the Olde English pre 7th century personal name 'Myrige', meaning merry, which in the medival period became a nickname surname given either to a person of 'honest' character, or a professional clown, one who took part in the theatres of the day. The suffix ending "man(n)" was in the context of a surname, a form of endearment meaning "friend of". The overall meaning is probably "Merry's friend". Given the robust humour of the medieval period as shown in the famous works of Geoffrey Chaucer, the alternative possibility exists, that the name could sometimes mean the very reverse of merry!

While House of Names says

Merriman is an ancient Norman name, that would have been used in Britain soon after the Conquest of the island in 1066. This name was given to a person who was a person who was a mischievous child, or who liked to play tricks and make jokes. As for the name Merriman, nicknames often described strong traits or features of animals.

Name frequency

According to an ONS database in Sept 2002, there were 2431 people with the Merriman surname, while there were people 139 with the Merryman surname.

Distribution of the name

In looking at the map given on Forebears and selecting England. It shows the Merriman surname spreading out from quite a big cluster in the Midlands & West England.

Where as the Merryman surname is mainly in Gloucestershire, Worcestershire & Yorkshire with a connecting cluster again in the Midlands & West England.