This interesting and unusual surname recorded in several modern forms including Markwelley, Marvelley, and Mervelley, is of pre 10th century Olde French origins. It was almost certainly "imported" into England with the 1066 Norman-French invaders, although this is not proven. It derives from the Old French "merveille", meaning miracle, marvellous, a surnbame which survives in this form in France, and was originally given as a complimentary nickname to a youthful prodigy in recognition of outstanding achievement in the field of learning. The derivation lies in the Latin "mirabilia", admirable or amazing, and in England the Latinized form of the surname first appears on record in the latter part of the 12th Century when William le Merveillus is recorded in the 1186 Pipe Rolls of the county of Lincolnshire. Later recordings found in the surviving authentic early church registers include such spellings as Jone Marvayle, the daughter of Oswald Marvayle, christened at St. Botolph's church, Bishopsgate, London, on August 3rd 1597, and the marriage of John Marvelee to Mary Gill at the famous church of St. Mary-le-bone, London, on December 6th 1688. A coat of arms was granted to the French family of Merveilleux from the town of Vignaux. The blazon depicts a double-tailed mermaid on a blue shield, the mermaid being is symbolic of eloquence. The first recorded spelling of the family name anywhere in the world is that of Richard Merveyle, which was dated 1273, in "The Hundred Rolls" of the county of Cambridgeshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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