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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

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

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.


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.

First found in Norfolk where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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

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. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  8. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Morrell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com 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 28 December 2015 at 19:58.

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