Moorlan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Moorlan name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family 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 Moorlan literally means dweller by the moor-land. The surname Moorlan 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 Moorlan family

The surname Moorlan 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 Moorlan family

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

Moorlan Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Moorlan were recorded, including Morland, Morley, Moorland, Morthland, Morlay and many more.

Early Notables of the Moorlan 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 Moorlan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Moorlan family to Ireland

Some of the Moorlan 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 Moorlan family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Moorlan family emigrate to North America: 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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