Marriott Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Select Marriott Meaning
Male personal names generally provided the base for patronymic and pet-name surnames.  But there were exceptions.  Mary was not a common medieval name (although of course there was the Virgin Mary).  It is thought that the pet-name Marriot emerged from Mary as a surname.
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Marriott Ancestry

The Marriott name was mainly to be found in the Midlands counties of
Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.  It cropped up most frequently in
the records of Mansfield and Sutton-in-Ashfield.  There were also
early references in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

Marriott appeared in Leicestershire villages such as Long Clawson
by Melton Mowbray (from whence came early immigrants to America) and in
nearby Langar and Colston Bassett.  Marriotts
have been living at Cotesbach Hall in Leicestershire since the

Then there is a Marriott
family in Yorkshire which traces itself back to the late 17th century
to Dewsbury. These Marriotts were first yeomen farmers and, later in
Batley, wool merchants.

Marriotts in London in the 17th century included:

  • John Marriot and his son Richard, publishers and booksellers on
    Fleet Street
  • Ben Marriot, a lawyer with a
    prodigious appetite
  • and John and Erasmus Marriott, apprentice clockmakers.

James Marriott came into the manor of
in Kent in the 1720’s through marriage.
Thomas Marriott, who helped to develop the Montpelier estate in London
in the 19th century, came from the Marriotts of Sturston Hall in

John de Maryat, a Huguenot
officer, was said to have “had the honor of dancing in a masque before
the Virgin Queen at Trinity College, Cambridge.”  He later settled
in Suffolk.  His line included Thomas Marryat, a somewhat
eccentric 18th century physician, and Joseph Marryat who became an MP and a British
agent for the West Indies in the early 19th century.  His son
Frederick made his name as a writer of sea stories, his grandson Frank
wrote some travel books before dying young of yellow fever.

Marriott emigrants from England during the 19th century included:

  • James Marriott, the London
    theatrical impresario who set up his stall in Wellington, New Zealand
    in the 1840’s.  He was the father of the actress Alice Marriott.
  • Frederick Marriott from Somerset who set out for San Francisco in
    1849 in search of gold
  • and William Marriott, the
    lawyer and politician who later emigrated to South Africa.

America.   The
Marriott name is not that common in
America.  It first surfaced in the 1650’s with Major William
Marriott in Surry county, Virginia and then in the early 1700’s with
Augustine Marriott in Anne Arundel county, Maryland.  Quaker
Marriotts from Northamptonshire settled in New Jersey in the

The Marriott name appeared most prominently in the 19th
century in North Carolina (Nash County), Ohio (near Cincinnati), and in
Utah.  Some of the Marriotts in America became Merritts.

Marriotts West.
Frederick Marriott had arrived in San Francisco from London in 1849 in
search of gold.  He didn’t find much but he stayed and did
much to
enliven the growing city.  A local newspaper described him in 1874
“an English gentleman of eccentric habits, much shrewdness and
enterprise, and entire originality.”  He was an early aviation
a newspaper publisher, and the first to install a telephone in San
Francisco.  His son took over the San Francisco News Letter and
survived a murder
attempt by one disgruntled reader in 1902.

John Marriott who reached from Northampton in the
1850’s was one of the pioneers of the Mormon church in
Utah.  His son Hyrum ended up scratching out a bare living as a
sheep farmer near Ogden.

So Hyrum’s son J. Williard Marriott, the
second of six children, set off for Washington DC in 1927 to try to
better himself.  He opened a root beer stall there with his wife
Alice.  This business expanded into a restaurant chain and, later,
into Marriott
His son J.W. Marriott, like his father a
Mormon, is the present CEO of this giant international hotel chain.

Australia.  Marriotts
figured prominently in the early history of Tasmania.  Fitzherbert
Marriott was an Anglican priest who arrived in Hobart in 1843 and was
soon appointed archdeacon there.  He didn’t stay, however.

Three Marriott brothers who came in the 1870’s took to the backwoods
and hacked their way through the thick forest of the Tyenna valley to
become farmers and landowners there.  Son Charles built Marriott’s
in 1910 in what is now the Mount Field national
Finally, Frank Marriott arrived from London in 1903.  Despite
being blinded in the trenches during World War One, he returned to
Tasmania and entered politics, serving the Darwin district from 1922 to


Select Marriott Miscellany

The Mariot/Marriott Name.  Mariot is a diminutive of Mary, itself coming from the Hebrew and probably
meaning “wished-for child.”  The name as Maria or Mary was
introduced into Europe by Crusaders in the 12th century.  In this
case the suffix “ot” attached to a forename would indicate the
diminutive or pet form.

The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of
Hervicus Mariot.  This was dated 1185 in the register of the
Knights Templars (Crusaders) in Warwickshire.

Ben Mariot, the Great Eater.  Ben Mariot was a lawyer in Gray’s Inn in London at the time of
Samuel Pepys.  He was known for his prodigious appetite.  It
was said that, being born, he sucked his mother and half a dozen nurses
dry.  As he increased in years, so did his stomach.  At 15,
he could master a whole turkey and all its trimmings at a
seating.  When adult, his ration was twelve pounds of meat each

“Here to your views presented the great
Mariot the lawyer, Gray’s Inn Cormorant;
Who for his gut is become a mere cheater;
Those that will feed him council shall not want.”

This verse appeared with an engraving of the man that has been
handed down.

The Marriotts from Horsmonden in Kent.  James Marriott gained estates through marriage in Horsmonden, a small
village near Tonbridge in Kent. Subsequent Marriotts were rectors of
the local church.  They included in Victorian times the Rev. Sir
William Marriott, the subject of Anthony Cronk’s 1975 book, The Wealden Rector.

A branch of this family emigrated to America in the 1740’s and settled
in Ohio near Cincinnati.  The clergyman John Marriott never
married.  But the line there has continued with other

The Marriotts of Colston Bassett in Nottinghamshire.  The Marriott family is thought to be the oldest family in the
village.  They were recorded as living in the village as early as
1713.  The family purchased what is now known as Home Farm on Church Gate in 1801 when it was known as The Pingle and included five
acres of land and buildings.

There is a stone in the churchyard in memory of John Marriott, “who
successfully practiced as a surgeon in this neighborhood for upwards of
fifty years.”  He died on January 2, 1874 in his eightieth
year.  A year earlier, his grandson John had decided to emigrate
and embarked on the Charlotte
for New Zealand.

Alice Marriott on the English Stage.  Alice Marriott was an institution on the English stage in the mid 19th
century.  She had a fine presence, a beautiful voice and
phenomenal memory, and acted for well over forty years, deploying an
enormous repertoire of long and difficult parts.  She had dramatic
intensity to a degree and a high reputation as an emotional

She had as well a fondness for masculine doublet and hose and for
playing the masculine parts which not infrequently were entrusted to
women in those Victorian days.  Her Hamlet was famous.  She
could do as
she liked since she had her own company and was even for some years
lessee of several theatres, including the Sadler’s Wells and the
Standard at Shoreditch.  She also played in the provinces and even
her own Hamlet to America in the 1870’s.

Alice made a great deal of money and would have been wealthy had she
not met and married a certain Robert Edgar.  He was convinced that
he knew the best way to invest her money.  He had a mania for
buying up shop property at high prices and then selling them, generally
at a loss.

Marriott’s Guesthouse in Tasmania.  Charles Marriott purchased land around Russell Falls and conceived
the idea of building a guest house on the banks of the Russell river
nearby.  To make his dream a reality, he had to clear virgin land,
using cross-cut saws, stump-jacks, mattocks and picks, assisted only by
his children.  A six-roomed house was built for the Marriotts and
afternoon teas were introduced for visitors in the area.  It was
in 1910 that the Guesthouse first opened its doors to the public.

Charles was also a road contractor and was involved in the building
of the road from Russell to Russell Falls. He had a “brake,” which held
eight passengers, and he used to drive to Russell each day to meet the
train which brought the tourists, and take them back to his home where
his wife Mabel would provide a welcome hot lunch.  After they had
seen the Falls, Charles would return them to Russell in time to make
the return train journey to Hobart.

In 1917 a railway extension was completed to Russell Falls and
business grew rapidly.   The Guesthouse, now called Park House, was extended to thirty
six rooms, with dining room seating for eighty people in one
sitting.   And Russell Falls became part of the newly created
National Park.

Cedric Marriott took over the management of Park House from his
father until the property was sold in the 1950’s.  Sadly the house
burned down in 1964.

The First Marriott Hotel.  In 1927 J. Willard Marriott and his wife Alice opened the first
A&W root beer franchise on the East Coast, a nine-seat stand on
14th Street Northwest.  By then, his father’s sheep business had
been destroyed by the Depression.  Hyrum Marriott had borrowed $20
a head on his sheep before their value plummeted to $3 a head, a lesson
in debt that left a deep imprint on J. Willard.

It was not until the 1950’s that J. Willard opened his first
hotel.  He had purchased a piece of land abutting the Twin Bridges
where he planned to build a commissary there to supply his
restaurants.  However, with the birth of the interstate highway
program, some business associates convinced him that the land was too
valuable for this sort of warehouse.  He decided instead to open
would become one of the country’s first motor hotels.  It had 365
rooms, bellmen on bicycles. rooms at $8 per car with $1 extra for each

In late winter, though, the occupancy rate had dropped to 20
percent.  Bill Marriott went into his father’s office and said:

“You’ve got me doing all these odds and
ends around here, why don’t you
let me run the hotel?”
“You don’t know anything about the hotel business,” J. Willard said.
“Neither do you,” Bill Marriott replied.

With his father’s acquiescence, Bill Marriott then looked for ways
to squeeze more money out of the hotel.


Marriott Names

  • John Marriot was a prominent London publisher of the early 17th century.
  • James Marriott was an 18th
    century judge and politician and a friend of the poet Thomas Gray.
  • Captain Frederick Marryat, a
    contemporary of Dickens, was a
    pioneer of the sea story.  He is best known today for his
    children’s story The Children of the New Forest.
  • Alice Marriott was a well-known actress on the London stage in the mid 19th century.
  • Frederick Marriott was an early
    aviation pioneer in California who might even have come up with the word “aeroplane.”
  • J. Willard Marriott was the founder of the Marriott international hotel chain.
  • Steve Marriott was the mod face
    of the English rock group Small Faces in the late 1960’s.

Select Marriott Numbers Today

  • 17,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Derbyshire)
  • 2,000 in America (most numerous in Missouri)
  • 5,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)




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