Last name origins & meanings:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 names.
  3. English (of Norman origin): habitational name from Marck, Pas-de-Calais.
  4. 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.
  5. Americanization or shortened form of any of several like-sounding Jewish or Slavic surnames (see for example Markow, Markowitz, Markovich).
  6. Irish (northeastern Ulster): probably a short form of Markey (when not of English origin).
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