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

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

Moorhouse is a name that was carried to England in the great wave of migration from Normandy following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Moorhouse family lived in Lancashire. The name Moorhouse was a local name meaning the dweller at the house on the moor. It derives from the Old English elements mor, meaning marsh or fen, and hus, meaning house.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, Norman French and other languages became incorporated into English throughout the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Moorhouse include Moorhouse, Moorehouse, Morehouse, Morhouse and many more.

First found in Lancashire where conjecturally they were descended from Roger de Poictou, a Norman Baron who was granted lands in southern Lancashire by Duke William of Normandy, his liege lord, for his noble assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moorhouse research. Another 305 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1300, and 1330 are included under the topic Early Moorhouse History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Moorhouse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In England at this time, the uncertainty of the political and religious environment of the time caused many families to board ships for distant British colonies in the hopes of finding land and opportunity, and escaping persecution. The voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, though, and many arrived in North America sick, starved, and destitute. Those who did make it, however, were greeted with greater opportunities and freedoms that they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Early immigration records have shown some of the first Moorhouses to arrive on North American shores:

Moorhouse Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Stephen Moorhouse arrived in New York in 1774

Moorhouse Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • William Moorhouse arrived in Philadelphia in 1849
  • C. B. Moorhouse arrived in California in 1850
  • Oliver Moorhouse arrived in Philadelphia in 1874

Moorhouse Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Matthew Moorhouse arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Charles Forbes" in 1839
  • Edward Moorhouse, aged 44, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849
  • Sarah Moorhouse, aged 38, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849
  • Thomas A. Moorhouse, aged 12, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849
  • Edward L. Moorhouse, aged 7, arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Marion" in 1849


Moorhouse Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Moorhouse, aged 29, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Alice Moorhouse, aged 29, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Thomas Moorhouse, aged 5, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Charlotte Moorhouse, aged 2, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • John Moorhouse arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1870


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  • James Moorhouse (1826-1915), Anglican bishop of Melbourne and of Manchester
  • William Barnard Rhodes- Moorhouse VC (1887-1915), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Geoffrey Moorhouse FRGS, FRSL (1931-2009), English journalist and author
  • Adrian David Moorhouse MBE (b. 1964), British former Olympic swimmer
  • Lieutenant Colonel Harry Claude Moorhouse CMG (1872-1934), officer in the British Army
  • Roger Moorhouse (b. 1968), British historian and author
  • William Sefton Moorhouse (1825-1881), New Zealand politician


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  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Moorhouse Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Moorhouse 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 29 April 2014 at 09:55.

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