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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: Irish, Scottish-Alt, Scottish
The roots of the Morrison family name are in ancient Scotland with the Viking settlers. Morrison was derived from the name Maurice. This comes from the Latin personal name Mauritius, which means dark. Numerous legends exist for the origins of this great Scottish Clan. One old tale holds that the Clan's Norse forbears were shipwrecked off the Isle of Lewis, and saved themselves by clinging to driftwood; hence the Clan Plant badge is driftwood. Another branch claims descent from the O'Muircheasain bards of the outer Hebrides. This latter legend is not inconsistent with a possible shipwreck of the Norsemen, as many of the bardic missionaries from Ireland were of Norse descent. Others claim the Clan is descended from King Somerled, King of the Isles, who died in 1164. Again, this is compatible with history, as Somerled was descended from the Norse Kings of Ireland and gave origin to many of the more notable Scottish Clans.
The surname Morrison was first found in on the Isle of Lewis (Scottish Gaelic: Leòdhas), where the first Clan chiefs once held the hereditary office of Judges or Brieves of Lewis. They also had their stronghold in the Tigh Mor' or 'big house,' which was near Habost in Ness on the extreme northern tip of Lewis. Their claim of descent from King Somerled is also substantiated by their descent through Ceadhain Mac Mhuirich. A Chief of a junior branch of the Donalds, he was descended from Somerled, and through Gillemoire, a brother of Leod (progenitor of the MacLeods) - both were royal princes of the Norse Empire of the Isle of Man and the Hebrides.
Sound and intuition were the main things that scribes in the Middle Ages relied on when spelling and translating names. Since those factors varied, so did the spelling of the names. Spelling variations of the name Morrison include Morrison, Morison, Morieson and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morrison research. Another 351 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1950, 1893, 1961, 1620, 1683, 1660, 1790 and 1852 are included under the topic Early Morrison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Robert Morison (1620-1683), a Scottish botanist and taxonomist; and Ruaraidh ('Roderick') Morrison; born in 1660, he is remembered as An Clarair Dall, 'the blind harper', and held the highest place of honor for players of the clarsach. His ballads and poetry still survive...
Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morrison Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Some of the Morrison family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In North America, the monarchy was thousands of miles away and Scots were free to settle on their own land and practice their own beliefs. The American War of Independence provided an opportunity for these settlers to pay back the English monarchy and forge a new nation. Recently, this heritage has survived through North American highland games and clan societies. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Morrison or a variant listed above:
Morrison Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Morrison Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Morrison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Morrison Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Morrison Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Morrison Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Morrison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
Morrison Historic Events
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Dun eistein
Motto Translation: Castle Eistein.
A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...More
Septs of the Distinguished Name Morrison
Brieve, Gillmar, Gillmer, Gillmoor, Gillmoore, Gillmor, Gillmore, Gillmour, Gilmar, Gilmer, Gilmoor, Gilmoore, Gilmor, Gilmore, Gilmour, Juddes, Jude, Judes, Judge, Judges, Juge, Kilmore, MacBrieve, MacGhilleMhoire, McGhilleMhoire, Morieson, Morison, Morisson, Morrieson, Morrison, Morrisson, Morson and more.
The Morrison Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Morrison 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 11 July 2016 at 16:55.