The surname of MYERS was derived from the Old English word 'myre' and it was a locational name meaning 'the dweller by the swampy, low-lying lands'. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. There was a place in Lancashire so called from the Old Norman word MYRRSKOGR, from where the original bearer may have derived his name. The name is also spelt MYRE, MIRE, MIRERS and MYRES. Early records of the name mention Richard de Mirescroft, who was recorded in the year 1273 in Lancashire and David Mire, documented during the reign of Edward I (1272-1307). Willelmus del Mire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Richard Myres of Preston, was listed in the Wills at Richmond in 1670. The name was taken early to Scotland by settlers, and David in the Mire, a Scots prisoner taken at Dunbar Castle in 1296, obtained his freedom in the following year to serve the English King abroad, and appears to be the first of the name on record in Scotland. Alexander Myr witnessed a charter by the abbott of Inchaffray in the year 1491. James Myr held land in Brechin in 1508. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function 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 and draped garment worn over the armour. A notable member of the name was Frederick MYERS (1843-1901) the English scholar and pioneer of psychical research in Brtian, and co-author with Edmund Guerney of 'Phantasms of the Living' (1886). It was not until the 10th century that modern hereditary surnames first developed, and the use of fixed names spread, first to France, and then England, then to Germany and all of Europe. In these parts of Europe, the individual man was becoming more important, commerce was increasing and the exact identification of each man was becoming a necessity. Even today however, the Church does not recognise surnames. Baptisms and marriages are performed through use of the Christian name alone. Thus hereditary names as we know them today developed gradually during the 11th to the 15th century in the various European countries. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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