Mort History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Mort family, who lived in Essex. The name, however, descends from the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Mott a town in Cotes du Nord, Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Mort family

The surname Mort was first found in Essex, where the family held a family seat from very early times, having been granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D. Moate (Irish: An Móta) is a town in County Westmeath, Ireland. In this case the town's name was derived from the term "motte-and-bailey," an early Norman fortification with a wooden or stone keep. The Norman earthwork is still visible behind the buildings on the main street.

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed a wide range of spellings throughout ancient England: Motte (without surname), Buckinghamshire; William Moth, Norfolk; Basilia Motte, Cambridgeshire; and Richard Mote, Oxfordshire. [2]

"In the 13th century, Motte, sometimes written Mot, was a common Cambridgeshire name, but it also occurred then in Essex, Hunts, Kent, Bucks, and Oxfordshire." [3]

However, Yorkshire proved to be a stronghold for the family for many years: "The Motts have found a home in this county for at least 600 years. In the 13th century the name of Motte occurred in Bradfield in this county. From the 14th to the 17th century there resided a notable gentle family of Mott at Shalford; some of the members lived at Braintree, in the same neighbourhood, in the 16th and 17th centuries; Sherne Hall, Shalford, was in the possession of the family in the 17th century." [3]

Early History of the Mort family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Mort research. Another 152 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1379, 1588, 1583, 1686, 1693, 1710, 1693 and 1738 are included under the topic Early Mort History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mort Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Mort were recorded, including Mott, Motte, Mote, De Mott, De Motte, Demott and others.

Early Notables of the Mort family (pre 1700)

Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Mort Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Mort Ranking

In the United States, the name Mort is the 18,075th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

United States Mort migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Mort arrived in North America very early:

Mort Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Mort, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [5]
  • John Mort, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [5]
Mort Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Mort, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1864 [5]
  • Joseph Mort, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 [5]

New Zealand Mort 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:

Mort Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J. Mort, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William" in 1853
  • J. Mort, American settler travelling from San Francisco aboard the ship "William" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 2nd April 1853 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Mort (post 1700) +

  • Christopher "Chris" Mort, English lawyer and former chairman of Newcastle United Football Club
  • Ian Mort (b. 1937), former Australian rules footballer
  • David Llewellyn Mort (1888-1963), Labour Party politician in the United Kingdom
  • Thomas Sutcliffe Mort (1816-1878), Australian businessman
  • R. Mort Frayn, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Washington, 1960; Candidate for Mayor of Seattle, Washington, 1969 [7]
  • Mort Drucker (1929-2020), American caricaturist and comics artist best known as a contributor for over five decades for Mad magazine
  • Mort Clayman (d. 2010), American watch distributor who bought the watchmaking company Jules Jurgensen in 1974
  • Mort Shuman (1936-1991), American singer, pianist and songwriter, best known as the co-writer of "Viva Las Vegas"
  • Mort Crim, American author and former broadcast journalist

Monongah Mine
  • Mr. C. D. Mort (b. 1889), American coal miner who was in mine 8 at the Monongah mine on 6th December 1907 when it exploded and collapsed; he died [8]
  • Mr. Jonathan H. Mort (b. 1855), American coal miner who was in mine 8 at the Monongah mine on 6th December 1907 when it exploded and collapsed; he died [8]

  1. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. 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. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, November 24) . Retrieved from
  8. ^ Monongah Mining Disaster retrieved on 8th August 2021. (Retrieved from on Facebook