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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Morrell is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. Morrell is a name that comes from the medieval given name Morel. The name was originally derived from the name More or Moore a nickname for a someone of dark complexion. This name stems from the Old French word Moor, meaning black man.


The surname Morrell was first found in Northumberland where one of the first records of the name was found at North Middleton, a township, in the parish of Hartburn. "This place, which was also called MiddletonMorell, from an ancient proprietor named Morell, was afterwards divided among various proprietors." [1]

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Morrell, Morel, Morrel, Morrall, Morrill, Murrill and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morrell research. Another 225 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1704, 1795, 1839, 1788 and 1880 are included under the topic Early Morrell History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 107 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Morrell name or one of its variants:

Morrell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Tho Morrell, who landed in Virginia in 1638
  • David Morrell settled in Virginia in 1656
  • George Morrell, who landed in Maryland in 1663
  • Christopher Morrell, who landed in Maryland in 1673
  • John Morrell, aged 22, arrived in Virginia in 1684

Morrell Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Morrell, aged 42, arrived in New York in 1719
  • Mathew Morrell, who landed in New York in 1761

Morrell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Andrew Morrell, who arrived in New York in 1822
  • Abraham Morrell, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Daniel, Francis, George, John, Robert, Steven, and William Morrell all arrived in Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860
  • Francisco Morrell, aged 22, arrived in New Orleans, La in 1860

Morrell Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Michael Morrell, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. John Morrell U.E. born in Long Island, New York, USA who settled in Kings County, New Brunswick c. 1784 he enlisted in 1776 served in the 42nd Regiment, he died in 1818
  • Mr. Thomas Morrell U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784

Morrell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Joshua Morrell, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
  • H. Morrell arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Caroline" in 1849
  • John Morrell, aged 22, arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Adelaide"
  • James T. Morrell, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Oriental,"


  • Mr. R. Morrell (d. 1912), age unknown, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic, died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett
  • Captain Arthur Fleming Morrell (1788-1880), English naval officer
  • Andy Morrell (b. 1974), English professional footballer
  • Geoff Morrell (b. 1958), Australian film and theatre actor, winner of the 2000 AFI Award for Best Actor
  • David Morrell (b. 1943), Canadian novelist
  • Daniel Johnson Morrell, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Leslie James Morrell, Member for Londonderry Northern Ireland Assembly, Coleraine, N. Ireland
  • Wayne Beam Morrell Jr., Artist, Rockport, Massachusetts
  • Michael Ferrier Morrell, Computer Leasing Co. Executive, New Hampshire
  • Herbert Ketcham Morrell Jr., Anesthesiologist, Syracuse, New York



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: Bono animo esto
Motto Translation: Be of Good Courage


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  11. ...

The Morrell Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Morrell 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 2 March 2016 at 13:23.

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