Marker Marcher Marcker Merker Merker Merkers

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About us

This name project seeks DNA input from people named MARKER, MARCHER, MARCKER, MERCKER. 

(Last revised 6 March 2016):

The name is strong in Denmark, England, Austria and Germany. People from these countries  emigrated to the USA, Australia, New Zealand & Argentina. There
also appears to be a good number of people name Marker in Italy where there is a region called Marche which I am told originated with the germanic Lombards who came from the Sth Baltic and founded the kingdom of Lombardy in Italy. 

Here is feedback I recently received from someone from Italy named Marchegiani.  START QUOTE: 'My name is Marchegiani, and research documents, it appears that my ancestors have always lived in Italy until 1600, and more precisely in the Marche region (Central Italy). Marchegiani surname is believed to mean "from the Marche region or Marca Anconetana". The term derives from the Longobardi Word MARK or border of the Roman Empire. Then a word of German origin. You should know that the surname Marchegiani and its derivatives: Marcheggiani, Marche, Marche etc etc is widespread in the Marche region, particularly in the provinces of Ancona and Macerata, we also find many Marchegiani in Abruzzo and Emilia Romagna. But there are appearances Marchegiani in other parts of Italy and Europe. Some have emigrated to South America (Brazil and Argentina). It is believed, however, that the start of this race is in the province of Ancona.' END QUOTE.

The Marker name also shows up in other countries such as France and Italy (see above) including notable numbers around Mumbai in India and some in 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 three variants show up strongly in Danish records (Marker, Marcher, Marcker) and mostly on the Island of Bornholm in the South Baltic Sea.

The likely pronunciation for these is ...
Marker   = "Mark-er"
Marcher = "Marc-(h)er"
Marcker = "Marc-ker"

One explanation for the name is the Scandinavian, Germanic and Latin, word Mark (also written as Marche). In Denmark, Germany and England it historically means a fortified boundary area. The more famous Marks/Marches in England are the Scottish, Welsh and Cornish Marks/Marches. There are many such places 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. Dan'mark' is the Mark of the Danes (Denmark).

This line of research shows a possible origin for warriors sent to a 'Mark/Marche' being known as 'Markers/Marchers'. Thus in this form the name was occupational ('er' added to noun).

Another possible source for the name (yet to be investigated) 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. Historically in these countries Jewish people were allowed to operate as money lenders and it seems probable that some may have become known as Mark-ers and thus ended up with this as a name. Again this theory needs investigation but there are many Jewish people named Marker and in the USA today there are two well known Jewish Rabbis named Marker that are easy to Google. Only some people named Marker are Jewish. We have enough DNA data to show we are of various origins.

We will need project administrators willing to focus on particular regions and or aspects of the Names. As prime administrator my greatest interest is England and Denmark.
Am hoping to enlist administrators from the USA, Germany, possibly Argentina, hopefully India & Pakistan.

Some interesting stories and statistics about 'Markers':

- The biggest density of people named Marker/Marcher/Marcker in the world currently occurs on the Island of Bornholm Denmark.
   Marker = Denmark 117 fpm, Bornholm 2968 fpm, Telemark Norway 306 fpm, Austria 13.  (fpm=frequency per millions)
   Marcher = Denmark 122 fpm, Bornholm 3174 fpm, Austria 48 fpm
   Marcker = Denmark 7 fpm, Bornholm 182 fpm, Netherlands 1.7 fpm

- There is a strong pocket of people named Marker in Tele'mark' Norway (in the area of the old Danish northern Mark when Denmark ruled that part of Norway).

- There is a strong line of Marker people in Devon England where the name can be traced back to the early 1200s.  Located at King Canute's Cornish Mark - Exeter.

- Three significant areas that appear to crop up in Germany for people named Marker (based on searching the Mormon Ancestry Database) are ...
  1) the old area of Prussia / Pomerania,
  2) the area around Stuttgart and
  3) Bavaria.

- There appear to be two Marker family crests. One from England (per Burke's peerage) and another from Prussia (now Germany). The German crest appears to    date to the mid 1500s.  The English date has not been located yet.

- A famous Pakistan Diplomat is 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 is not of Indian or Pakistan origin but came there when some Persian Parsee people fled there to escape persecution 100s of years ago.

- In the late 1800s, an officer in the British army named Lt Col Raymond Marker, was aide-de-camp to the famous lord Kitchener, in India.  Lord Kitchener became the head of the British Army.  This officer was a Coldstream Guard and at one time was quartermaster of the British army. He died in WW1 in France. He was from the Devon England Marker line. Raymon Marker come from a line of C of E reverends (see below).

- In the period 1790-1830s three family related Church of England Reverends from Devon named Marker graduated from Cambridge or 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 Devon, named Sir Walter Marker.

- In the USA today are 2 'well known' Jewish Rabbis named Marker

- In the 1800s in Jamaica there was an African slave named John Marker

- Among the Danish Markers in 1871 there was a cavalry officer named Wilhelm Marcher (Vilhelm Frimann Marcher) who had a relationship with the Danish King's daughter Thyra  resulting in the birth of a daughter to Thyra. This was hushed up and the officer later committed suicide when the King refused him further contact with the Princess.

- The German version of the name of Marker is one of the names listed in the Jewish names registry. Here:

- Among our early members we have Markers from the Devon line listed with Y-DNA R-CTS4528 (Sth Baltic) and recently a German Marker (orig Mercker) showing up as Nordic (I1).  Two other Markers in our project are adopted males (with DNA P312 & I1) so whilst they are in the project because of their names, their lines actually go elsewhere.

Douglas Marker - 01 Jan 2015.