This very rare and unusual name has its origins in the occupational name "Marshall", from the Middle English "maresc(h)al" and "mareschalcie", describing the office of the marshall. Originally the marshall was a man who looked after horses, a farrier, but by the 13th Century, the name also described one of the most important servants in every great household, and in the royal household a high official of state. In the 18th Century "marshallcy" was used to describe the military force under the command of a marshall and a court, (abolished in 1849) known as the "Marshallsey" was held by or for the knight marshall, originally for the purpose of hearing cases between the king's servants. Most of the instances of the name are recorded in Dorsetshire, the earliest with the spelling "Marshallsay" being in 1763, in Chickerell. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Marshalsay, which was dated January 31st 1744 (marriage to Ann Lilly at All Saints church, Dorchester), during the reign of King George 11, "The Last Warrior King", 1727 - 1760. 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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