This famous surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin and is a development of the given name Mervyn or Mervin, which has a double derivation. The first is from the Old Welsh "Myrddin", the true form of Merlin, and the second from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Maerwine" composed of the elements "maer" meaning famous, with "wine", a friend. Legend claims that there were two enchanters of the Welsh name, Myrddin Emrys (Merlin Ambrosius), who was King Arthur's magician, and Myrddin Wyllt (Merlin Silvestris) known as the "Wild" Merlin. One Mervin (without surname) rector of Chester-le-Street, is listed in the Domesday Book of Durham (1086). The surname first appears on record in the latter half of the 13th Century (see below). Noted in the 1379 Poll Tax Returns of Yorkshire are Willelmus Mirfyne, Johannes Myrfyn and Thomas Mirfin. The surname is also found in the variant spellings Marvin, Mervin, Mirfin and Mervyn. On September 15th 1624, George Murfin married Jone Bate at the church of St. Pancras, Soper Lane, London, and the marriage of Joane Murfin and John Fox took place at the church of St. Benet, Pauls Wharf, London, on Juen 24th 1651. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Matilda Marwyn, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Huntingdonshire", 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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