Recorded in many spellings including Maret, Marett, Marrett, Marriott, Merrett, Merritt, Merriott, Merit, Merioth, Meriott, Meritt, and Meryett, this is an English or possibly for some nameholders, a French surname. Ithas at least three possible origins. The first is locational from a place called "Merriott" in the county of Somerset, England. This placename is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Meriet" and translates as "the gate at the boundary", and as such refers to an old parish boundary, or possibly a portcullis which formed part of defensive wall. The word derives from the pre 7th century Olde English "gemaere", meaning boundary and "geat", a gate or bar or sometimes the road itself. Those nameholders that do not derive from this source have a patronymic or more likely metronymic origin. The derivation is from either of two medieval personal names. The first is a diminutive of the Hebrew personal name Mary, introduced by the Crusaders mainly in the 12th century, and the second from Meryet, itself from the pre 7th century Olde English and Norse Viking "Maergeat", meaning "famous people". This was the tribal or clan name to which the legendary "Beowulf" belonged. Early recordings of the surname include Ralph Meriet in the 1202 rolls of Lincoln, John Meryet in the 1316 rolls of Warwickshire, and John Maryatt in the court rolls of Colchester, Essex, in the year 1375. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hardinus de Meriet. This was dated 1084, in the Geld Roll of the county of Somerset. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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