This ancient surname recorded in the spellings of Meyric, Meyrick, Merrick, Merricks and the American Myrick, is of Anglo-Welsh and possibly Scottish origins. The first is Welsh, and derives from "Meyric, the Prince of Cardigan", and head of the North Wales tribe based upon Bodorgan, in the Isle of Anglesey. It is claimed that the Welsh origin is of Norman descent, being a form of "Maurice", and dating back to King John of England in 1199. The second origin is definately Norman, and may be the same source as the first. It derives from the Old French personal name "Maurice" introduced into England after the Conquest of 1066. This name is composed of the Germanic elements "meri" or "mari", meaning "fame", and "ric", meaning "power". The third possible origin is Scottish, and as such a locational surname from the place called "Merrick" situated near Minigaff in Dumfries and Galloway. This placename is derived from the Gaelic word "meurach" meaning "a branch or fork of a road or river". Early examples of the surname recordings include Henrye Merriche in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379, David Meyrick of Bodorgan, North wales in the year 1415 and Richard Merrick, who married Martha Tither in London in 1610. One of the earliest settlers in the New world was, John Merrick Esq., who in 1678 was recorded in the parish of St. Andrew's in the Isle of Barbados, as having 266 acres of land and six servants. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Meuric de Hope, which was dated 1272, in the charter rolls known as 'Testa de Neville', during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as 'The hammer of the Scots', 1272 - 1307. 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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