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MARSHALL, GEORGE WILLIAM (1839–1905), genealogist, born at Ward End House, near Birmingham, on 19 April 1839, and descended from a family settled for several generations at Perlethorpe, Nottinghamshire, was only child of George Marshall, a Birmingham banker, by his second wife, Eliza Henshaw Comberbach. Educated privately and at St. Peter's College, Radley, he entered Magdalene College, Cambridge, in 1857, but soon removed to Peterhouse, whence he graduated B.A. in 1860, and LL.B. in 1861, and proceeded LL.M. in 1864, and LL.I). in 1874. In 1801 he entered the Middle Temple, was called to the bar on 9 June 1865, and for some time practised on the Oxford circuit.

Genealogy was Marshall's lifelong study from his Cambridge days. He collected manuscript material and published much. His earliest publication was 'Collections for a Genealogical Account of the Family of Comberbach' (his mother's family) in 1866. In 1877 he founded 'The Genealogist,' and edited the first seven volumes. For the Harkian Society he edited in 1871 'The Visitations of Nottinghamshire in 1569 and 1614,' and in 1873 'Le Neve's Pedigrees of Knights.' He also printed privately in 1878 'The Visitation of Northumberland in 1615,' and in 1882 'The Visitation of Wiltshire in 1623.' His chief work was 'The Genealogist's Guide,' an alphabetical list of all known printed pedigrees (1879; 2nd edit. 1885; subsequent editions came out at Guildford in 1893 and 1903). Another valuable work is his 'Handbook to the Ancient Courts of Probate' (1889; 2nd edit. 1895). On the various families bearing the surname of Marshall he printed two volumes entitled 'Miscellanea Marescalliana' (1883-1888). He issued a list of printed parish registers in 1891 and 1893, and a revised list in 1900, with an appendix in 1904. Six Nottinghamshire registers were issued by him between 1887 and 1896, namely those of Perlethorpe, Carburton, Edwinstow, Worksop, Wellow, and Ollerton. Other of his works were: 'A Pedigree of the Descendants of Isaac Marshall' (1868); 'Notes on the Surname of Hall' (Exeter, 1887); and 'Collections relating to the Surname of Feather' (Worksop, 1887). On 30 May 1872 Marshall was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries; and he was one of the founders in 1896 of the Parish Register Society, to the publications of which he contributed. In 1887 he was appointed Rouge Croix Pursuivant of Arms, and in 1904 was promoted to be York Herald. Several valuable and novel suggestions by him in regard to the entering of pedigrees and additions thereto in the books of the College of Anna were adopted by the chapter. For the college he collected a unique collection of manuscript and printed parish registers. He also presented, either in his lifetime or by bequest on his death, many volumes of manuscripts, abstracts of wills, marriage licences, and pedigrees. As a herald he had a great liking for allusive or canting coats-ofarms and crests. A keen and truth-seeking antiquary, with an intuitive power of research, he had a lawyer's love of conciseness and accuracy.

In 1891 Marshall purchased the Sarnesfield Court estate in Herefordshire, formerly the seat of the Monington family, and was made J.P. In 1902 he served the office of high sheriff, and was appointed D.L. He was also a freemason. At Sarnesfield Court he formed a rich library of genealogical and heraldic works and an extensive collection of armorial china.

He died at his London residence, Holmbush, Barnes, on 12 Sept. 1905, and was buried at Sarnesfield, his tabard as York herald, with the collar of SS, sword, and cap, being placed on his coffin. Marshall was twice married: (1) at Walton-on-the-Hill, Surrey, on 26 Sept. 1867, to Alice Ruth, younger daughter of Ambrose William Hall, sometime rector of Debden, Essex; (2) to Caroline Emily, elder sister of his first wife. He left issue six sons and two daughters. There are two portraits of him at Sarnesfield, one as a boy by Poole of Birmingham, and the other by Levine in 1884.

[Memoir by J. P. R. (John Paul Rylands) in Genealogist, new ser. xxii. 198–202, with a good portrait of Marshall in his tabard; The Times, 15 and 18 Sept. 1905; Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, original series, ii. 62-69; Men and Women of the Time, 1899; private information.]

W. G. D. F.