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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish, Welsh

Where did the Welsh Morris family come from? What is the Welsh Morris family crest and coat of arms? When did the Morris family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Morris family history?

This old Welsh surname comes from the Latin personal name Mauritius, which means dark. In Britain, Maurice was the learned form of the name, while Morice was the common form. The surname Morris was likely also assumed as a surname after being a nickname for a dark or swarthy person.


Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Morris has occasionally been spelled Morris, Morriss, Moriss, Morrice, Morice, Moris and others.

First found in Herefordshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morris research. Another 227 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morris History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 75 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morris Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Morris family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 123 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the 1800s and 1900s, many Welsh families left for North America, in search of land, work, and freedom. Those who made the trip successfully helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. In the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Morris

Morris Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Humphrey Morris settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Jenkin Morris settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Davie Morris, aged 18, landed in Bermuda in 1635
  • Frederick Morris, who arrived in Virginia in 1653
  • Amy Morris, who arrived in Virginia in 1658

Morris Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Anne Morris, who landed in Virginia in 1703
  • Ellinor Morris, who landed in Virginia in 1706
  • Elianor Morris, who arrived in Virginia in 1706
  • Adam Morris, who landed in Virginia in 1714
  • Christian Morris, aged 24, arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1738

Morris Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Ann Morris, aged 21, arrived in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1805
  • Ainsley Morris, aged 17, arrived in South Carolina in 1812
  • Ephraim Morris, who landed in New York in 1834
  • Gualterio Morris, who landed in Puerto Rico in 1837
  • Emanuel Morris, aged 27, arrived in Missouri in 1840

Morris Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Caroline Elizabeth Morris, who landed in New Orleans, La in 1912


  • Charles Gilman Morris (1881-1945), American novelist and playwright
  • Greg Morris (1934-1996), American television actor
  • Norval Morris (1923-2004), New Zealand-born, American criminologist and lawyer, dean of University of Chicago Law School from 1975-1979
  • Warren Morris (b. 1974), American baseball player most remembered for his 9th inning walk-off home run that won the 1996 College World Series
  • Alvin Morris (b. 1913), original name of Tony Martin, the American actor and singer
  • George Pope Morris (1802-1864), American editor, poet, and songwriter
  • Mark Morris (b. 1956), American dancer and choreographer
  • William Weeks "Willie" Morris (1934-1999), American Rhodes Scholar, writer, and editor
  • Mary McGarry Morris (b. 1943), American novelist, short story author and playwright
  • Joseph Chris Columbo Morris (1902-2002), American jazz drummer



  • C.C.'s Clan: Morris, Arms, Mitchell and Related Families by Eula Eunice Park Mitchell.
  • The Morris, Arnold and Related Families by Louis Arnold Morris.

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  1. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  5. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Morris Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Morris Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 October 2014 at 13:07.

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