The story of the Morriston family stretches back through time to the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland
in the Medieval era. The name Morriston was derived 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 Morriston family
The surname Morriston 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 Morriston family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morriston research.Another 351 words (25 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1950, 1893, 1961, 1620, 1683, 1660, 1790 and 1852 are included under the topic Early Morriston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Morriston Spelling Variations
are extremely common among Scottish names dating from this era because the arts of spelling and translation were not yet standardized. Spelling was done by sound, and translation from Gaelic to English was generally quite careless. In different records, Morriston has been spelled Morrison, Morison, Morieson and many more.
Early Notables of the Morriston 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... Another 84 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morriston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Morriston family to Ireland
Some of the Morriston family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Morriston family to the New World and Oceana
Those who made the voyage were greeted with ample opportunity to acquire land and a political climate far away from the oppressive monarchy of the old country. They settled along the east coast of what would become Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence
, those who remained loyal to England
traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In this century, many Scots living in North America have begun to recover their rich heritage through festivals, highland games, and Clan
societies. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Morriston: Daniel Morrison who settled in Boston in 1767; along with: Darby 1766; James 1765; John 1822; Michael 1822; Elizabeth 1635; Francis Morrison settled in Virginia in 1650.
The Morriston 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: Dun eistein
Motto Translation: Castle Eistein.