This English and French surname is adopted from the medieval female personal name, Mariot, a diminutive of Mary, itself coming from the Hebrew and probably meaning 'wished-for child'. The name as Maria or Mary was introduced into Europe by Crusaders returning from the Holy Land in the 12th century. It was a time of great religious revival and biblical names became all the rage, usually in the process obliterating existing native names. In this case the suffix 'ot' attached to a forename indicated the diminutive or pet form, and a good example is that of Mariota Hoppesort, recorded in the 1195 Court Rolls of the county of Suffolk in England and that of John filius Mariot in the Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire in1273. A later recording showing the development of the surname is that of Richard Marryott, who in 1677 married Catherine Bradbourne at Canterbury Cathedral. In the modern idiom the name has three spelling variations: Marriott, Marritt and Marryatt, an interesting namebearer being John Marriott nicknamed 'the great eater' because of his insatiable appetite. He died in 1653. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hervicus Mariot. This was dated 1185, in the register of the Knights Templars (Crusaders) for the county of Warwickshire, during the reign of King Henry 11nd. He was known as 'The Builder of Churches', 1154-1189. 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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