Recorded in many forms including Merrilees, Merriles, Merrylees, Mireylees, Mirylees, Mirrlees, Murlis, Murliss and Murless, this is a a surname of Scottish origins. It is locational and originates from the the estate known as "The lands of Merrilees", now it is said, merged with an adjoining estate and called Binns in West Lothian. Locational surnames are often "from" names. That is to say surnames given to people after they left their original homes and moved elsewhere. However that was not usually the case in Scotland, where people in a particular area adopted the name of the local laird, who himself was named after his estate. In this case early examples of the surname recording include Thomas Mureleyis, given as being a "dekin" in Edinburgh in 1529, whilst Richard Mereleis, who was obviously more than a bit of a lad, was "expellit and banisht" from the city of Stirling in 1533. Later recordings include those of Mary Murlis, the daughter of Robert and Elizabeth Murlis, who was christened at Holborn Lying in hospital, city of London, on February 19th 1767, and Jane Merrilees who married Thomas Dunn, at St. Annes church, Soho, Westminster, on June 13th 1812. 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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