MARSHALL - Surname Meaning and Family History

What Does the Last Name Marshall Mean?

Farrier at work, Lorinna.
Regis Martin / Getty Images

The Marshall surname derives from mare, meaning "(horse) servant," possibly meaning a wide variety of related occupations including farrier, groom, and horse doctor.

Marshall is among the top 100 surnames in many English speaking countries, including New Zealand, Scotland, England and Australia. It also ranks as the 125th most common surname in the United States.

Surname Origin: English

Alternate Surname Spellings: MARSHAL, MARSHALE

Famous People With the Marshall Surname

  • Barry Marshall: Australian physician and Nobel Prize winner
  • Brandon Marshall: NFL wide receiver
  • Thurgood Marshall: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
  • Walter Marshall: British nuclear physicist
  • Lester Marshall: English professional footballer
  • John Marshall - 4th Chief Justice of the United States

Where Is the Marshall Surname Most Common?

Surname distribution from Forebears indicates the Marshall surname is most prevalent in the United States, based on the percentage of the population. It is most common in New Zealand, where it ranks 51st in the nation, followed by Scotland (57th), England (70th) and Australia (74th).

WorldNames PublicProfiler indicates a similar distribution, with the greatest percentage of individuals named Lang in Austria, followed by Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. Lange is most common in Germany, especially northern Germany, followed by Denmark.

Genealogy Resources for the Surname Marshall

Meanings of Common English Surnames

Uncover the meaning of your English last name with this free guide to the meanings and origins of common English surnames.

Marshall Family Crest - It's Not What You Think

Contrary to what you may hear, there is no such thing as a Marshall family crest or coat of arms for the Marshall surname. Coats of arms are granted to individuals, not families, and may rightfully be used only by the uninterrupted male line descendants of the person to whom the coat of arms was originally granted.

The Marshall Surname DNA Project

Individuals with the Marshall surname are invited to participate in this group DNA project in an attempt to learn more about Marshall family origins. The website includes information on the project, research done to date, and instructions on how to participate.

MARSHALL Family Genealogy Forum

This free message board is focused on descendants of Marshall ancestors around the world.

FamilySearch - MARSHALL Genealogy

Explore over 4.3 million results from digitized historical records and lineage-linked family trees related to the Marshall surname on this free website hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

GeneaNet - Marshall Records

GeneaNet includes archival records, family trees, and other resources for individuals with the Marshall surname, with a concentration on records and families from France and other European countries.

The Marshall Genealogy and Family Tree Page

Browse genealogy records and links to genealogical and historical records for individuals with the Marshall surname from the website of Genealogy Today.


  • Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967.
  • Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Collins Celtic (Pocket edition), 1998.
  • Fucilla, Joseph. Our Italian Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 2003.
  • Hanks, Patrick and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Reaney, P.H. A Dictionary of English Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.
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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "MARSHALL - Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, Powell, Kimberly. (2020, August 27). MARSHALL - Surname Meaning and Family History. Retrieved from Powell, Kimberly. "MARSHALL - Surname Meaning and Family History." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 5, 2023).