Morison History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Viking settlers in ancient Scotland were the ancestors of the first people to use the name Morison. It comes 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.
Early Origins of the Morison family
The surname Morison 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.
Early History of the Morison family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morison research. Another 176 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1950, 1893, 1961, 1620, 1683, 1660, 1790 and 1852 are included under the topic Early Morison History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Morison Spelling Variations
Translation and spelling were non-standardized practices in the Middle Ages, so scribes had only their ears to rely on. This was a practice of extremely limited efficiency, and spelling variations in names, even within a single document, were the result. Over the years, Morison has appeared Morrison, Morison, Morieson and many more.
Early Notables of the Morison family (pre 1700)
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; the most famous of which is "Oran Mor Mhic Leoid,' which mourns the death of his patron...
In the United States, the name Morison is the 14,230th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
Migration of the Morison family to Ireland
Some of the Morison family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
The fertile east coast of what would become US and Canada was soon dotted with the farms of Scottish settlers. Some of them remained faithful to the crown and called themselves United Empire Loyalists, while others had the chance to pay back their old oppressors in the American War of Independence. That brave spirit lives on today in the highland games that dot North America in the summer. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the Morison family came to North America quite early:
Morison Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Morison Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Morison Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Morison Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Morison Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 
Morison Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
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.