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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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.

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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.


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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.

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

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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.

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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 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 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 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 United States in the 20th Century


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

Morris Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Charles Morris, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749-1752

Morris Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • James Morris, aged 30, a plasterer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale
  • Samuel Morris, aged 25, a plasterer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale
  • Sarah Morris, aged 26, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale
  • Felix Morris, aged 26, a tailor, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Silestria" from Belfast
  • Owen Morris, aged 24, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834


Morris Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Elijah Morris, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Morris, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Edward Morris, English convict from Bristol, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Jeremiah Morris, a sawyer, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • William Henry Morris, English convict from Chester, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia


Morris Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Cornelius Morris, aged 50, a gardener, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • Mary Morris, aged 36, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • Ellen Morris, aged 16, a sempstress, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • Anne Morris, aged 14, a sempstress, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • George Morris arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andover" in 1843


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  • 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

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  • 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. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. 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).
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-005-8).
  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 17 July 2015 at 20:24.

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