This ancient and distinguished surname, having no less than six Coats of Arms, is of Old French origin, and is a locational name from Marigni in La Manche (Normandy), so called from the Gallo-Roman personal name "Marinius", and the local suffix "-acum", village, settlement. The name was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and is particularly well recorded in Essex. In 1207, one William de Marenni was noted in the Curia Regis Rolls of that county, and in 1284 the name appears as "de Marny" in the Essex Feet of Fines. A notable bearer of the name, Sir Henry Marney, K.G., and Privy Councillor to both Henry V11 and Henry V111, descended from Robert de Marney who lived in the reign of Edward 111 (1327 - 1377). An early Coat of Arms granted to this family depicts a silver lion rampant guardant on a red shield. In the modern idiom the name is spelt: Marney, De Marney, Murney, Marnie and Merney, and recordings of same from Church Registers of England and France include: the marriage of Susan Merney to William Tendering at Terling, Essex, on June 6th 1569; the christening of Thomas, son of James Marney, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, on August 20th 1637; and the christening of Gabriel, son of Nicolas De Marney and Marguerite Crespin, at Pourrain, Yonne, France, on May 6th 1641. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Mareigni, which was dated 1168, in the "Pipe Rolls of Essex", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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