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

Origins Available: French, Welsh

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

The Morice surname comes from an Old French personal name introduced to Britain by the Normans. The Latin version was Mauritius. It is also thought that the name may have been taken on as a nickname for a Moor, or someone of a dark complexion, who was not actually a Moor.

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Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Morice have included Maurice, Morrice, Morice, Morys and others.

First found in Herefordshire, where tradition, according to the historian Ormerod, finds the family name to be descended from Athelstan Glodrydd, Godson of Athelstan, the King of England who founded the four Royal tribes of Wales, and on his mother's side descended from Caradoc Vriechfras, Lord of Hereford, one of the knights of the Round Table. Descended was Hoedliw Goch ap Rhys, Gwrgenau ap Hoedliw Goch, Grono ap Gwrgenau, Griffith ap Grono, Madoc ap Griffith, Howel ap Madoc, Phillip Dorddu ap Howel, Cadwgan second son of Phillip and so on, to Morys ap Morgan. Descended was Evan Maurice who was the youngest son of Maurice ap Morgan who migrated to Kent, his son Sir William Maurice acquired the estates of the village of Chuston in West Putford.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morice research. Another 207 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1279, 1379, 1552, 1622, 1593, 1597, 1604, 1611, 1582, 1591, 1626, 1702, 1666, 1634, 1682, 1647, 1691, 1628, 1690, 1602, 1676, 1660 and 1668 are included under the topic Early Morice History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 217 words(16 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morice Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Morice family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Morice:

Morice Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Morice landed in America in 1654

Morice Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Philip Morice, who landed in Virginia in 1711
  • Marguerite Morice, who arrived in Louisiana in 1719

Morice Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • George Morice, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850

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  • Sir William Morice (1628-1690), 1st Baronet, English royalist statesman
  • Tara Morice, Australian actress, singer, and dancer
  • Professor Peter Beaumont Morice,


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  1. Thirsk, Joan ed. Et. Al. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  2. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  11. ...

The Morice Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Morice 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 4 September 2013 at 11:50.

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