Morrissey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Morrissey has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Morrissey is O Muirgheasa, which is derived from the words muir, meaning sea, and geas, meaning action.

Early Origins of the Morrissey family

The surname Morrissey was first found in County Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland.

Early History of the Morrissey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morrissey research. Another 54 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morrissey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Morrissey Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Morrissey were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Morrissey, O'Morrissey and others.

Early Notables of the Morrissey family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Morrissey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Morrissey migration to the United States +

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Morrissey or a variant listed above:

Morrissey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard and William Morrissey, who settled in Boston in 1823
  • John and James Morrissey, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1848
  • Roger Morrissey, aged 37, who landed in New York, NY in 1848 [1]
  • Thomas Morrissey, aged 37, who arrived in New York, NY in 1848 [1]
  • John Morrissey, aged 40, who landed in New York, NY in 1848 [1]

Canada Morrissey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Morrissey Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Peter Morrissey, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1817
  • Allis Morrissey, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1821
  • John Morrissey and Hannah with their six children settled in Quebec in 1848

Australia Morrissey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Morrissey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Michael Morrissey, aged 39, a blacksmith, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "John Bunyan" [2]
  • Johanna Morrissey, aged 22, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "James Fernie" [3]
  • David Morrissey, aged 28, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "David Malcolm" [4]
  • Patrick Morrissey, aged 27, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "David Malcolm" [4]
  • Anne Morrissey, aged 19, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "South Sea"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Morrissey (post 1700) +

  • Brigadier-General William Joseph Morrissey (1888-1965), American Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff, War Department General Staff (1942-1946) [5]
  • Jim Morrissey (b. 1962), former American NFL football linebacker
  • Francis Joseph Morrissey (1899-1968), American football player and coach
  • Bill Morrissey (b. 1951), American folk singer/songwriter
  • Paul Morrissey (b. 1938), American film director
  • Sinéad Morrissey (b. 1972), Northrn Irish poet
  • John "Old Smoke" Morrissey (1831-1878), Irish-born, bare-knuckle boxer and a gang member in New York in the 1850s who later became a Democratic State Senator and U.S. Congressman from New York
  • Dame Helena Louise Morrissey D.B.E., C.B.E. (b. 1966), née Atkins, born in Bowdon, Cheshire, British Financier and Campaigner was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 17th June 2017, for services to Diversity in Financial Services
  • Donna Morrissey (b. 1956), Canadian Gemini Award winning author from The Beaches, Newfoundland
  • Erin Morrissey, Canadian curler
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Morrissey Motto +

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: Si Deus nobiscum qui contra nos
Motto Translation: If God be with us, who can be against us.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 24th May 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) John Bunyan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/johnbunyan1854.shtml
  3. ^ South Australian Register Friday 17th November 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) James Fernie 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/jamesfernie1854.shtml
  4. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 1st May 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) David Malcolm 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/davidmalcolm1855.shtml
  5. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) William Morrissey. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Morrissey/William_Joseph/USA.html


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