The name of Morvant is Celtic in origin, arising from the ancient Britons
. The name's specific origins were derived from the Welsh personal name
Mervin, which originally took the form Merlin. The magician Merlin plays an important role in Arthurian legend and is given the attributes of a Celtic druid. He figures prominently in early Welsh
writings, and the first full-fledged treatment of him is given in the Libellus Merlini (Little Book of Merlin), a Latin tract written by Geoffrey of Monmouth c. 1135.
Early Origins of the Morvant family
The surname Morvant was first found in Wiltshire
, where this distinguished Welsh
family claim descent from Mervyn Vrych, (Merfyn Frych 'Merfyn the Freckled', Merfyn ap Gwriad 'Merfyn son of Gwriad', Merfyn Camwri 'Merfyn the Oppressor') an 11th century Lord of Anglesey
, who settled in Wiltshire
on the English Welsh
border. He is thought to have died around 844 and was King of Gwynedd from around 825 to his death. He came from a long line of nobility.
Llywelyn ap Merfyn (died 942) was King of Powys, son of Merfyn ap Rhodri, and grandson of Rhodri the Great. His father, Merfyn ap Rhodri (died c.900) was also King of Powis (878-900.) Mystery surrounds his death. Some believe he died due to the incursion into Anglesey by the Viking Ingimundr. Others believe he lost his realm to an invasion by his brother Cadell, King of Ceredigion.
All trace back to Rhodri ap Merfyn (c. 820-878), later known as Rhodri the Great (Welsh: Rhodri Mawr), who succeeded his father, Merfyn Frych, as King of Gwynedd in 844. He is referred to "King of the Britons" by the Annals of Ulster and later as the "King of Wales."
Early History of the Morvant family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morvant research.Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1799, 1603, 1675, 1661 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Morvant History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Morvant Spelling Variations
Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh
surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations
. These spelling variations
began almost as soon as surname usage became common. People could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh
names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic
language of the Welsh
used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Morvant name over the years has been spelled Mervyn, Mervin, Mervyng, Merwin and others.
Early Notables of the Morvant family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morvant Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Morvant family to Ireland
Some of the Morvant family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 143 words (10 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 Morvant family to the New World and Oceana
began to emigrate to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s in search of land, work, and freedom. Those that arrived helped shape the industry, commerce, and the cultural heritage of both Canada and the United States. The records regarding immigration and passenger show a number of people bearing the name Morvant: Andrew Mervine, whose Oath of Allegiance was recorded in Pennsylvania in 1779; Ferdinand Mervyn, who settled in Philadelphia in 1808; and Alexander Mervin, who was recorded as a British Alien in the United States during the War of 1812..
The Morvant 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: De Dieu tout
Motto Translation: From God everything.