Last name: Marley

This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from any of the various places thus called, including Marley in Devonshire, Durham, Kent and the West Riding of Yorkshire, or Marley Farm in Brede (Sussex). The Yorkshire place, recorded as "Mardelai" in the Domesday Book of 1086, derives its first element from the Olde English pre 7th Century "mearth" meaning (pine) marten, plus "leah", a wood or clearing. This latter element is common to all the above mentioned places. Marley in Durham and Devonshire, recorded as "Merleia" and "Merlegh" in 1183 and 1242 respectively, share the same first element, i.e. the Olde English "(ge)maer", a boundary; hence "(ge)maer-leah". Marley in Kent, recorded as "Merille" in the 1242 Fine Court Rolls of that county, has as its first element the Olde English "myrig", pleasant. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname was first recorded in the mid 12th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Thomas de Mardele and John de Marley (Yorkshire 1208 and 1285 respectively). On April 26th 1573, Agnes Marley and John Pyppen were married at St. James' Clerkenwell, London. A Coat of Arms granted to the family depicts three silver dolphins naiant embowed on a black bend, all on a gold shield. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Merlai, which was dated circa 1145, in the "Book of Seals of Durham", during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

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My great-great-great-grandfather Richard Marley came from Portadown, County Armagh, to Oneida County, New York, US, in the early 1850s (?). He was a Roman Catholic, and later married a fellow Irish immigrant, Nora Murray. I don't think he descended from the Protestant Anglo-Irish Marleys because he was a Catholic. O'Marleys as well as Marleys are found in Armagh as far back as the 1600s. It is family tradition that our name used to be spelled something like "O'Marleigh," which looks quite similar to the Gaelic O'Mearlaigh.

Marli Goodnight
Hi My name is Marli Goodnight, my Great Grandfather was John Marley, and my Great Grandmother was May B . James Marley, my great great Grandfather immigrated to America from Ireland and died in 1870, in Newark, WI. I am also currently researching the Marley lineage to see what town in Ireland or area my family came from. Please share anything that you can that pertains !

nicolas wirtz
hello i'm from france. there a lot of villages call "marly" in france , especially around Paris. Most of them were written "Marley" in the middle -ages. topography says, it comes from a old Gaulish terms "Marialacus" , a little pond ( une petit mare en français) .


I'm looking into a visit to Ireland and was wondering if there might be anyone related to Marley"s from Boston.

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