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Meaning and Origin of: Marshall

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First name origins & meanings:

  • French : Keeper of the horses; military title

First name variations

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English and Scottish : status name or occupational name from Middle English, Old French maresc(h)al ‘marshal’. The term is of Germanic origin (compare Old High German marah ‘horse’, ‘mare’ + scalc ‘servant’). Originally it denoted a man who looked after horses, but by the heyday of medieval surname formation it denoted on the one hand one of the most important servants in a great household (in the royal household a high official of state, one with military responsibilities), and on the other a humble shoeing smith or farrier. It was also an occupational name for a medieval court officer responsible for the custody of prisoners. An even wider range of meanings is found in some other languages: compare for example Polish Marszałek (see Marszalek). The surname is also borne by Jews, presumably as an Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.
  • As the fourth chief justice of the U.S., John Marshall (1755–1835) was the principal architect in consolidating and defining the powers of the Supreme Court. He was a descendant of John Marshall of Ireland, who settled in Culpeper Co., VA, sometime before 1655.

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