This surname MARKUS was originally from the Latin Marcus, the personal name of St Mark the Evangelist, author of the second Gospel. The name was borne also by a number of other early Christian saints. MARCUS was an old Roman name of uncertain etymology; it may have some connection with the war God Mars. The given name was not as popular in England in the Middle Ages as it was on the Continent, especially in Italy, where the evangelist became the patron of Venice and the Venetian Republic, and was allegedly buried at Aquileia. In England the name was a topographic name for someone who lived on a boundary between two districts, or a habitation name from any of the various places named with this word, such as Mark in Somerset. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Adelolfus de Merc, who was recorded as a tenant-in-chief in the Domesday Book of 1086. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The name is also spelt MARKS, MARC, MARCUS, MARKES and MARKSON. Other records of the name mention Rogerus filius Markes, who was recorded in 1207 in Hampshire, and Marc le Draper appears in 1292 in London. Robertus Marcus was recorded in 1288. It has long been a matter of doubt when the bearing of coats of arms first became hereditary and it was not until the Crusades that Heraldry came into general use. Men went into battle heavily armed and were difficult to recognise. It became the custom for them to adorn their helmets with distinctive crests, and to paint their shields with animals and the like. Coats of arms accompanied the development of surnames, becoming hereditary in the same way. Later instances of the name include Johannes Markson of Yorkshire, who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. John Marks of County Devon, registered at Oxford University in the year 1575, and John Marks and Sarah Powell were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1749.
The lion depicted in the arms is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour.
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