The origins of this interesting and early surname are buried in romantic mystery. It is believed that the name derives from the Latin 'marinas' meaning dark haired or more likely of dark appearance, and it is probable that the word was applied as a less than friendly nickname to the Moorish Invaders of Spain who conquered the country in the t century. Whether this is true or not the surname has always been popular both in Spain and Portugal, and later in the new colonies of Mexico, Brazil and other South American countries. Hereditary surnames were usually much later than in England and France by some three centuries, and often derive from the occupation of the area by the 'Visigoths' of the 5th century. 'Moreno' also has a feminine spelling in 'Morena', although this is now quite rare, an example of an early recording being that of Comacho Marina, the son of Joseph Marina, christened at Penamiller, Queretaro, Mexico, on February 12th 1771. Other early recordings in the usual style of Marian include Diego Marian, christened at Arabal de Portillo, Valladolid, Spain, on May 28th 1630, whilst Juan Marian was recorded at San Juan del Rio, Mexico on December 21st 1681. The coat of arms granted to the Marian de Castille has the blazon of a gold field, charged with a single towered castle, and in chief two black ravens volant. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francisca Ruiz Marian, which was dated July 1st 1545, christened at Chiclana, Cadiz, Spain, during the reign of King Charles 1 of Spain, 1519 - 1556. 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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