The distinguished surname Morss emerged among the industrious people of Flanders
, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages. As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish
and English nations, many Flemish
migrants settled in Britain. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name
. One of the most common classes of surname is the patronymic
surname, which was usually derived from the first name of the person's father. Flemish
surnames of this type are often characterized by the diminutive suffix -kin,
which became very frequent in England
during the 14th century. The surname Morss is derived from the Old French name Maur,
which is derived from the Latin personal name Mauritius,
which means Moorish or dark.
Morss is a late form of the surname.
Early Origins of the Morss family
The surname Morss was first found in Gloucestershire
where, conjecturally being of Flemish
origin they were one of the many settlers who were invited into England
to improve the industrial capabilities of the nation.
Early History of the Morss family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morss research.Another 208 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1771, 1791, 1807, and 1872 are included under the topic Early Morss History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Morss Spelling Variations
surnames are characterized by a large number of spelling variations
. One reason for this is that medieval English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also influenced by the official court languages, which were French and Latin. Names were rarely spelled consistently in medieval times. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in several different forms throughout their lives. One of the greatest reasons for change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish
settlers in England
, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch. The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish
names were often altered to suit the tastes of English-speaking people. In many cases, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames were eliminated. The name has been spelled Mors, Morse, Mawse and others.
Early Notables of the Morss family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Morss Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Morss family to the New World and Oceana
The records on immigrants and ships' passengers show a number of people bearing the name Morss: Samuel and Elizabeth Morse settled at Dedham in Massachusetts in 1635; descended was Waldo Grant Morse of Yonkers in New York. Joseph Morse who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635.
Contemporary Notables of the name Morss (post 1700)
- Robert Morss Lovett (1870-1956), American academic, writer, editor, political activist, and government official