Show ContentsMorland History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Morland is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is a product of 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 Morland literally means dweller by the moor-land. The surname Morland 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 Morland family

The surname Morland 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 Morland family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morland research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1100, 1190, 1625, 1660, 1695, 1789 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Morland History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Morland Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Morland has been spelled many different ways, including Morland, Morley, Moorland, Morthland, Morlay and many more.

Early Notables of the Morland family

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 Morland family of painters and draughtsmen, the earliest of who on record is thought to be George Henry Morland (d. c. 1789)

Ireland Migration of the Morland family to Ireland

Some of the Morland 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.

United States Morland migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Morlands to arrive in North America:

Morland Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Morland, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Tho Morland, who landed in Virginia in 1650 6
  • Ed Morland, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 6
Morland Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Morland, who settled in Boston in 1762
  • Eleanor Morland, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Virginia in 1774
Morland Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Henry Morland, who landed in New York in 1810 6
  • James Morland, aged 42, who arrived in New York in 1812 6
  • Robert Morland, who was on record in Boston in 1820

New Zealand Morland migration to New Zealand +

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:

Morland Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Morland, (b. 1844), aged 19, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Huntress" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st April 1863 7
  • Mr. Thomas Morland, (b. 1843), aged 22, British ploughman travelling from London aboard the ship "Greyhound" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th May 1865 7
  • Mr. Patrick Morland, (b. 1845), aged 20, British ploughman travelling from London aboard the ship "Greyhound" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 7th May 1865 7

Contemporary Notables of the name Morland (post 1700) +

  • Howard Morland (b. 1942), American journalist and anti-nuclear weapons activist
  • Henry Robert Morland (1716-1797), English painter
  • George Morland (1763-1804), English painter
  • David Morland IV (b. 1969), Canadian PGA golfer
  • Toby Morland (b. 1980), New Zealand rugby player
  • General Sir Thomas Morland KCMG, DSO (1865-1925), British World War I general
  • Thomas Morland Hocken (1836-1910), English-born, New Zealand collector, bibliographer and researcher; his collection of more than 4,000 printed volumes, as well as photographs, manuscripts and maps in held in the Hocken Collection at the University of Otago
  • Peter Morland Churchill (1909-1972), British spy during World War II

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Harold Reginald Morland, British Assistant Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland (1914) and survived the sinking 8

  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)
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  8. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook