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MERCHANT Family History

This name, with variant spellings Marchent, Marchand, Marquand, Merchant and Le Marchant, derives from the Old French "marcheant" (Middle English "marchand"), meaning a merchant or trader, and was originally given as an occupational name to a buyer or seller of goods. The ultimate root of the name lies in the Late Latin "mercis", commerce, exchange or merchandise. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. The surname was first recorded at the beginning of the 13th Century (see below), and one Roger Marchaunt and a Herueus Merchant were listed as witnesses in the 1219 Assize Court Rolls of Yorkshire...

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