This interesting surname of English origin is a topographical name for someone who lived by or in a marsh or fen, deriving from the Old English "mersc" meaning "marsh". The surname dates back to the late 12th Century, (see below). Further recordings include one Henry del Merse (1212), "The Curia Regis Rolls of Yorkshire", and Isabel ate Mershe (1273), "The Hundred Rolls of Oxfordshire". Variations in the idiom of the spelling include Mar Mash, Marsch, Marsh, etc.. Marie, daughter of Thomas Mars, was christened at St. Katherine by the Tower, London, on June 9th 1616. John Mars, son of John and Elizabeth was christened at St. Michael Bassishaw, London, on April 20th 1645, and John Mars, was christened at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London, in January 1711. One Isaac Mars married Margaret Whiting on April 24th 1714, at St. Mary le Bow, London. Ann Mars, aged 20, a famine emigrant, sailed from Liverpool aboard the New-World, bound for New York on June 7th 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Godard le la Merse, which was dated 1194, "The Pipe Rolls of Somerset", during the reign of King Richard 1, "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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