Recorded in the spellings of Marrington, Merington, Merrington, Maritan, Meriton, and Merriton, this is an English surname. It is locational and usually originates from the village of Merrington in County Durham, although some name holders are possibly from Merrington in Shropshire, or the "lost" medieval village of Merritown in Hampshire. The derivation in all cases is from the Old English pre 7th Century personal name "Maera" with "ing" meaning tribe of, and "tun", a hamlet or group of buildings, to give the meaning of "the settlement of the Maera people". Locational surnames were usually given to people after they left their original homestead. It was, and often remains so today, that one of the easiest ways to identify a stranger was to call him or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling throughout the ages being at best erratic, and local accents very thick, often lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings of the surname. In this case early examples of the surname recordings include: Andrea Merrington, who married John Thomas on June 1st 1574, at the church of St. Mary at Hill, in the city of London, William Merington who was christened at Billingham, County Durham on July 20th 1584, and George Meriton, who married Jane Downes at the church of St Gregory,s by St Paul's cathedral, city of London, on July 2nd 1632. Marie Merriton, aged 21, was an early emigrant to the colonies of the West Indies. She sailed on the ship "Amitie of London" on October 13th 1635, bound for St Christophers (now Barbadoes) in the West Indies.Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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