This interesting surname recorded as Mariner, Marriner, and Marner, is of medieval French origins, and was thought to be occupational. It shows the influence of the Norman invaders after 1066 on the English language. It derives from the word "Marinier", which did describe a sailor but as Seaman and Sailor were already popular occupational descriptions before the arrival of the Normans, it is possible that the French term may have had a more specific meaning. The research has thrown up a surprise in that virtually all the early recordings come from counties well away from normal seagoing activities, and yet they seem job descriptive.This provides further evidence that the original meaning may not have been as obvious as at first it seemed. We believe that the name was occupational, but that it described a travelling merchant, one who purchased his goods overseas, and therefore had to travel by sea, hence it was a descriptive nickname. The Coat of Arms is regal, being blue, with a blazon of a red fesse between six lions rampant, all silver, but this provides no clue as to the original meaning of the surname. The early recordings include Ace Merinier of Clerkenwell, London in 1211, Ivo Le Mariner of Hertford in 1228, and Peter Le Marner, in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Sussex. Later forms Thomas Maryner who married Anne Gylbarte at St Giles Church, Cripplegate, London on February 5th 1595, whilst William Mariner, (1760 - 1820) really was a "mariner", sailing to and being held captive on the Tonga Islands in 1805, and later writing a famous account of life amongst the cannibals. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Le Marinier, which was dated 1197, in the pipe rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart" 1189 - 1199. 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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