Macmorlan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Macmorlan name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived on a moor, which is a tract of open, uncultivated ground which is usually grown over with heather and coarse grasses and has a poor, peaty soil. The surname Macmorlan literally means dweller by the moor-land. The surname Macmorlan belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees. [1]

Early Origins of the Macmorlan family

The surname Macmorlan was first found in Westmorland. The Mauley branch of the family claim Ugthorpe in the North Riding of Yorkshire as their ancient ancestral home. "This was an ancient demesne of the crown, and is styled in Domesday Book Ughetorp; the Mauleys became lords here at an early period, and from them the manor and estate descended by marriage to the Bigods, and afterwards to the Ratcliffes, by whom the whole was sold in parcels." [2]

"The first of this name we can trace is Peter de Mauley, a Poictevin, Baron of Mulegrave, and Lord of Doncaster, in Yorkshire. He appears to have been an adherent of King John, and to have acquired his English estates in marriage with Isabel, daughter and heir of Robert de Thurnham, whose wife was Joanna Fossard, heiress of Mulqrave, a descendant, probably, of the Domesday Nigel. Camden says, that "by marriage Peter de Mauley came to a great inheritance at Mulgrave, and that the estate was enjoyed by seven Peters, Lords de Malo-lacu." [3]

"The first mention of this name occurs shortly after the death of Richard I., when John, in order to clear his way to the throne, employed his esquire Peter de Mauley, a native of Poitou, to murder his nephew, Prince Arthur, for which service De Mauley received great remuneration in the West of England. In charters, the latinization of this name, De Malo Lacu, might be supposed to be no unapt allusion to the "bad lake or pool" of blood thus unrighteously shed by the founder of the race." [4]

As far as the Moreland (Morland) variant is concerned, we found the first record in Somerset: Edith de la Morland there in 1257. A few years later, Henry atte Morlonde was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296 and William de Morland in the Subsidy Rolls for Yorkshire in 1327. [5]

Early History of the Macmorlan family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Macmorlan research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1190, 1625, 1695, 1660, 1789 and are included under the topic Early Macmorlan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Macmorlan Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Macmorlan has undergone many spelling variations, including Morland, Morley, Moorland, Morthland, Morlay and many more.

Early Notables of the Macmorlan family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Samuel Morland (1625-1695), notable English academic, diplomat, spy, inventor and mathematician, made 1st Baronet Morland in 1660; the...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Macmorlan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Macmorlan family to Ireland

Some of the Macmorlan family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Macmorlan family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Macmorlan were among those contributors: Thomas Morland, who settled in Virginia in 1650; Ed Morland, who settled in Virginia in 1663; William Morland, who came to Boston in 1762; Eleanor Morland, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Virginia in 1774.



  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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