The surname of MARSHE was derived from the Old English word 'mersce'a locational name, the dweller near the marsh. Local names usually denoted where a man held land, and indicated where he actually lived. Early records of the name mention MERSE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Goddard de la Merse, was recorded in the year 1194 in County Somerset. Mersh Gibwyne, was documented in the year 1292 in County Berkshire. Katerina del Mersh (huswyfe) of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Peter Fox married Elizabeth Marshe, St. Michael, Cornhill, London in 1567. William Woods and Isabel Marsh were married at the same church in the year 1578. At first, the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a functon on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing a draped garment worn over the armour. Since the dawn of civilisation the need to communicate has been a prime drive of all higher mankind. The more organised the social structure became, the more urgent the need to name places, objects and situations essential to the survival and existence of the social unit. From this common stem arose the requirements to identify families, tribes and individual members evolving into a pattern in evidence today. In the formation of this history, common usage of customs, trades, locations, patronymic and generic terms were often adopted as surnames. The demands of bureaucracy formally introduced by feudal lords in the 11th century, to define the boundaries and families within their fiefdoms, crystallized the need for personal identification and accountability, and surnames became in general use from this time onwards.
The associated arms are recorded in Burkes General Armory.
Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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