Last name origins & meanings:
- English and Dutch: from Latin Marcus, the personal name
of St. Mark the Evangelist, author of the second Gospel. The name was
borne also by a number of other early Christian saints. Marcus
was an old Roman name, of uncertain (possibly non-Italic) etymology;
it may have some connection with the name of the war god Mars.
Compare Martin. The personal name was not as popular in England
in the Middle Ages as it was on the Continent, especially in Italy,
where the evangelist became the patron of Venice and the Venetian
Republic, and was allegedly buried at Aquileia. As an American family
name, this has absorbed cognate and similar names from other European
languages, including Greek Markos and Slavic Marek.
- English, German, and Dutch (van der
Mark): topographic name for someone who lived on a boundary
between two districts, from Middle English merke, Middle High
German marc, Middle Dutch marke, merke, all
meaning ‘borderland’. The German term also denotes an area of
fenced-off land (see Marker 5) and, like the English word, is
embodied in various place names which have given rise to habitational
- English (of Norman origin): habitational name from Marck,
- German: from Marko, a short form of
any of the Germanic compound personal names formed with mark
‘borderland’ as the first element, for example Markwardt.
- Americanization or shortened form of any of several
like-sounding Jewish or Slavic surnames (see for example
Markow, Markowitz, Markovich).
(northeastern Ulster): probably a short form of Markey (when
not of English origin).
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