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Surname Merriott - Meaning and Origin

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Merriott: What does the surname Merriott mean?

The surname Merriott is of English origin and is believed to be a locational name, deriving from the place called "Merriott" in Somerset, England. The name of this place was recorded as "Merscrote" in the Domesday Book of 1086 and might have meant "cottage by the marsh", derived from the Old English words "mersc" (marsh) and "hroda" (cottage). Therefore, the surname Merriott might denote someone who hailed from this place. As with many old English surnames, spelling variations over the course of history have included Merritt, Merit, Meret, Merrett, and others. Such variations often happened when scribes recorded names phonetically and there were no strict rules for spelling in ancient times. As a surname, Merriott may have been used to identify people long after they moved from the original location, as a way of linking them back to their place of origin.

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Merriott: Where does the name Merriott come from?

The surname Merriott is of English origin, deriving from the Old English equivalent of Matthew. It likely originated from a place name, particularly from villages in Somerset or Devon named Merriott. These locations were recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Muriel' or 'Muriella', probably named after an early owner. The place name signifies 'the boundary gate', from the Old English words 'mearg', meaning boundary, and 'geat', meaning gate. Other sources suggest that it might be linked to the word 'maryot', an archaic term for the marigold flower.

Like many English surnames, it spread beyond England as people emigrated, particularly to America, Australia, and Canada. Despite this spread, the surname Merriott remains less common globally. Today, it is most frequently found in England and the United States. However, it's worth noting it's frequently misspelled as Marriott, which is far more common and could cause confusion when tracking the distribution of the Merriott name. Furthermore, it isn't one of the most common surnames in any of these countries, making it relatively rare overall.

Variations of the surname Merriott

The surname Merriott is of English origin and is derived from a geographical location, specifically the village of Merriott in Somerset, England. Variants or alternate spellings for this name could include Marriott, Marriot, Mariot, Marryot, or Meriot.

These variations could be due to different pronunciation over time and across different regions, as well as errors or alternate spellings in record-keeping. In addition, the influence of local dialects and accents, as well as the transition from oral to written records, could also contribute to these variations.

Surnames derived from the same root could include anything related to the same geographical area or a similar geographical feature. Since this name is location-based, it could also have been influenced or changed based on migration, particularly during periods of mass emigration from England, such as the 17th to 20th centuries.

Another factor that could have influenced the spelling or variation of the surname Merriott is marriage and resulting name changes, as well as adoption or other familial lineage shifts. Such changes often brought about slight alterations in the original last name to accommodate the new family dynamics or transitions.

Famous people with the name Merriott

  • Russell Merriott: professional basketball player for the Guangxi Eagles in the Chinese Basketball Association.
  • John Merriott: British actor who appeared in the television series The Bill.
  • Anthony Merriott: English footballer for the Birmingham-based team Hallam F.C.
  • Derek Merriott: Canadian actor, writer, comedian and stage actor.
  • Steven Merriott: stand-up comedian and television presenter on the British TV Channel 5.
  • George Arthur Merriott: mathematician, clergyman, and professor at the University of Aberdeen.
  • Robert Merriott: Australian marathon runner.
  • Petty Officer Ray Merriott: Australian National Serviceman in the Vietnam War.
  • Charles Merriott: English actor who appeared in the television series The Bill.
  • Sir Anthony Merriott: English judge who served as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.

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