This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived by or in a marsh or fen, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "marsc", with "mann", man. Topographical surnames were some of the earliest names to be created, since topographical features, whether natural or man-made, provided obvious and convenient means of identification. The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include John Mershman (1301), "Archaeologia Cantiana", and John Mersman (1317), witness in the Assize Rolls of Kent. London Church Records list the marriage of Edmundus Marshman to Sara Martin on June 23rd 1594 at St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, and the christening of Thomas, son of Edmund Marshman, on July 26th 1610 also at St. Martin in the Fields. Thomas Marshman married Katherine Rayment in April 1644 in Hornchurch, Essex. William Marshman, aged 56 yrs., together with his wife Ann, aged 56 yrs., and his son William, aged 16 yrs., who were famine emigrants, sailed from Liverpool aboard the "Birkinhead" bound for New York on June 2nd 1847. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Edmund le Mersman, which was dated 1233, in the "Kalendar of Documents in the Possession in the Warden and Fellows of New College, Oxford", during the reign of King Henry 111, known as "The Frenchman", 1216 - 1272. 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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