TOlde English of the pre 8th century a.d. were very found of endearment nicknames which developed into medieveal surnames. These included examples such as Dear and Darling, Little and Mann. Curiously 'Murch' translates as 'Little man' being originally recored in the form of 'Morch' - see below. Quite why Morch or Murch did not achieve the same popularity as the other names is unclear, but what is certain is that whilst rare it has been around for a very long time. It has also been suggested the 'Murch' is a medieval theatrical surname, possibly given to an actor who played a specific part in the travelling theatres of the 14th century, but this is not proven. The name also appears in Scotland under the patronymic form 'Murchison', however the origins are not connected. Muchison is an anglised spelling of the ancient gaelic 'Mhurchaidh' meaning 'Sea Warrior' and is merely a sounds like version of 'Murch'. Examples of the surname recording include Edward Murch, a witness at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 15th 1628, and John Murch, who married Martha Triggs at St Katherines by the Tower, London, on June 23rd 1717. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Morch, which was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward 111, known as 'The father of the English Navy' 1327-1377. 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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