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Marsh Family History
This interesting surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a topographical name for someone who lived by or in a marsh or fen, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "mersc" meaning "marsh". The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below). Further recordings include one Henry del Merse (1212) in the Curia Regis Rolls of Yorkshire, and Isabel ate Mershe (1273) in the Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire. Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Mar, Mash, Marsch and Marsh. Recordings of the surname from the London Church Registers include; the marriage of Henry Marsh to Margaret Hayle, on December 3rd 1547, at St...
Marsh (Variants: Variants: Mersh, Mash)
An English topographic name for someone who lived by or in a marsh or fen, Middle English mershe (Old English mersc). Also an English locative name from Middle English mersch ‘marsh’ (Old English mersc ), or from one of many places so named, such as Marsh Hall in Thurstonland (WR Yorks), Marsh Gibbon (Bucks), and Marsh alias Marche Hall in Westbury (Shrops).
Early bearers of the surname include: Robertus Mersch’, 1377 in Poll Tax (Snargate, Kent); Henricus atte Mersch’, 1377 in Poll Tax (Horton, Staffs); Thomas de Marsche, 1377 in Poll Tax (Norton Canon, Herefs); Willelmus del Marsche, 1377 in Poll Tax (Doncaster, WR Yorks); Stephen Marsh, 1474 in Kent Wills (Saint Peters Thanet, Kent).
The noted George Perkins Marsh (1801 – 1882), American diplomat and philologist, considered by some to be America's first environmentalist by recognising the irreversible impact of man's actions on the earth, a precursor to the sustainability concept, although "conservationist" would be more accurate. His book, Man and Nature that was published in 1864, had a great impact in many parts of the world. The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont takes its name, in part, from Marsh.
David Marsh, an English convict, transported aboard the "Albion" on 17 May 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia.
In 1881, the surname was widespread. However, it was particularly prevalent in the South Eastern county of Kent with 2,203 occurrences.
In 1891, the surname was recorded in England and Wales with 21,686 occurrences and a fewer 26 in Scotland.
In 1881, the most common Marsh occupation in the UK was Coal Miner. A less common occupation for the Marsh family was Labourer. Coal Miner, Agricultural Labourer and Farmer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Marsh.
The noted James Marsh (1794-1846) was a British chemist who invented the Marsh test for detecting arsenic.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Kent
Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003
Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890
The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016
1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain
1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain
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