Recorded in the spellings of Maret, Marrett, Merrett, Merritt, Merriott, Merit, Merioth, Meriott, Meritt, and Meryett, this is an English or possibly for some nameholders, a French origin. The first possible origin is locational from a place called "Merriott" in the county of Somerset, England. This placename is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as "Meriet" and translates as "the gate at the boundary". This refers to an old parish boundary, or possibly something more specific like a portcullis which formed part of defensive wall. The word derives from the pre 7th century Olde English "(ge)maere", meaning boundary and "geat", a gate or bar. Those nameholders that do not derive from this source have a patronymic or more likely metronymic origin, the derivation being from one of two medieval personal names. The first is a diminutive of the personal name Mary, introduced by the Norman French after 1066, and the second Meryet, from the pre 7th century Olde English and Norse Viking "Maergeat", meaning "famous people". This was the tribal or clan name to which the legendary "Beowulf" belonged. Early recordings of the surname include Ralph Meriet in the 1202 rolls of Lincoln, John Meryet in the 1316 rolls of Warwickshire, and John Maryatt in the court rolls of Colchester, Essex, in the year 1375. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hardinus de Meriet. This was dated 1084, in the Geld Roll of the county of Somerset, during the reign of King William 1st, known as "The Conqueror", 1066 - 1087. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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