Recorded as Marl, Marle, Marler and Marlor, this is an early English surname of pre 7th century origins. It derives from the word "marl" a soft rock which when crushed was for many centuries used as a fertilizer or sweetner for land. The name may also on occasion be locational from a place such as Marley in Yorkshire, originally recorded as Merleia and Merlegh in the pipe rolls of the county in the years 1183 and 1242 respectively. However where that is the case the meaning is apparently different, originating from the Olde English word gemaer, meaning a boundary. 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. Early recordings of the surname include Thomas le Marlere of Ely in Suffolk in 1277, and William Marlor of Yorkshire in the accounts of the manor Wakefield in 1297, whilst on November 28th 1546 in the reign of King Henry V111th, Robert Marl married Katherine Harper at the church of St. Martin Orgar, in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Merlai. This was dated circa 1145, in the Book of Seals for Durham. This was during the reign of King Stephen of England, known as the "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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