MARSHALL: This name was introduced to Britain about the time of the Norman Invasion of 1066, and is derived from 'marechal' (horse servant, or groom). Historic reliance on the horse ensured that its use soon became widespread in Britain and therefore Scottish ancestry should not be assumed on evidence of name alone. Like Steward or Constable, the post became a position of great dignity and eventually gave rise to the title Earl Marischal. This elevated position did not spawn the proliferation of the name, for most were of more humble degree who took the name of their trade when surnames became the vogue. The marriage of Philip (de Keith) Marescallus to the heiress of Keith Humbie (East Lothian) merged the two great houses of Keith and founded the dynasty of the Keith Earls Marischal (15th - 18th century). Several Marischals appear in the Rolls of those swearing fealty to Edward of England in 1296 and subsequently the name spread throughout non-Gaelic Scotland until today it is among the 60 most common surnames. Such widespread distribution precluded the Marshalls from becoming a unified force, for their common heritage is in their name, and apart from the fact that everyone's lineage must somehow derive from the dawn of evolution, they cannot be said to be of common stock. Individual families can trace distinct ancestries, but if the name must have a 'clan association', it should probably be with the Keiths - although on the most tenuous of grounds. The Tartan presently named Marshall began as a numbered pattern in a manufacturer's range, which later acquired the name Austin. In the 19th century, it became Keith and, by the middle of the 20th century, it was also known as Marshall and Falconer - the latter two based on the circumstance that the Keiths were Earls Marischal and bore the name Keith-Falconer. By 'use and wont' this tartan has become the tartan of the Marshalls. Marischal College, a part of Aberdeen University, was founded in 1593 by George Keith the 5th Earl Marischal. Marshalls who have left their mark in the Scottish heritage include William (1748-1833) - a composer of some 260 'Scottish Airs', who spent 57 years as house steward, and later factor, in the service of the Duke of Gordon. The tartan known as Marshall is also known as Keith, Falconer and Austin.
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