The Marker name also shows up in other countries including Italy plus also in smaller numbers in India and Pakistan.
The phonetic origins of these spellings is essentially the same. In those names with c and h (i.e. ch) when sounded in Germanic and old English the c was sounded as for a k and the h was silent. These variants show up strongly in Danish records (Marker, Marcher, Marcker) and mostly on the Island of Bornholm in the South Baltic Sea. In Germany the variants of the name seem most strong in the areas around Stuttgart.
Marka = Mar-ka
Marker = "Mark-er" Denmark/Norway/Germany/ England/Pakistan
Merker = Mer-ker Germany
Mercker = Merc-ker Germany
Marcher = Marc-(h)er Denmark
Marcker = Marc-ker Denmark
Marche = Marc-(h)e Ancona Italy)
One explanation for the name is the Scandinavian, Germanic and Latin/Italian, word Mark (also written as Marke and Marc(h)e). In Denmark, Germany and England it historically means a fortified (defendable) boundary area. The more famous Marks/Marches in England are the Scottish, Welsh and Cornish Marks/Marches.
In Italy there is a region named Marche (spelled Marche but pronounced Marka). The town of Ancona is the capital of Marche. One resident from this region points out "Marchegiani and its derivatives such as Marcheggiani, Marche etc etc are widespread in the Marche region, particularly in the provinces of Ancona and Macerata". This same local person says that historical folklore in his area of Marche, suggests they had a Germanic origin likely related to the Lombards.
There are many former 'Mark' areas in Europe. An example is Altmark in Germany (Old Mark). Altmark was once a fortified boundary but over time that boundary shifted further East and South towards Austria and Switzerland. Denmark is of course the Mark of the Dan people.
Research indicates that warriors sent to a 'Mark/Marche' were known as 'Markers/Marchers'.
Another possible source (requires deeper investigation) is related to the currency (the Mark) used in many parts of Europe especially Germany and including Denmark. In England the 'Mark was also a common currency in the early middle ages.
We will be looking for project administrators willing to focus on particular regions of the world. As prime administrator my greatest interest is England and Denmark. Some interesting stories about 'Markers':
- The biggest population density of people named Marker occurs on the Island of Bornholm Denmark (i.e. highest % of local people with the one name).
- There is a pocket of people named Marker in Telemark Norway (old Danish northern Mark).
- There is a strong line of Marker people in Devon where the name can be traced back as in use there in the early 1200s.
- Three significant areas that appear to crop up in Germany for people named Marker, Merker & Mercker are 1) the older area of Prussia, 2) the area around Stuttgart, and in Merkers-Kieselbach (midway between Leipzig & Frankfurt) and 3) Bavaria.
- A famous Pakistan Diplomat was named Jamsheed Marker. He has also served as United Nations Under-secretary General, as a special adviser to United Nations ex-Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Jamsheed Marker
- In the period 1790-1830s three family related Church of England Reverends from Devon named Marker graduated from both Cambridge and Oxford Universities. Rev W Henry Marker (Camb 1797 & 1803), Rev Henry W Marker (Oxford 1825), Rev Thomas John Marker (Oxford 1833).
- In 1440 there was a Chaplain at 'Holy Trinity' Exeter named sir Walter Marker. A Marker coat of arms exists in Bourke's Peerage.