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


The Norman Conquest of England of 1066 added many new elements to the already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Murrell name is derived 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.

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A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Morrell, Morel, Morrel, Morrall, Morrill, Murrill and others.

First found in Northumberland where one of the first records of the name was found at North Middleton, a township, in the parish of Hartburn. "This place, which was also called MiddletonMorell, from an ancient proprietor named Morell, was afterwards divided among various proprietors." [1]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murrell research. Another 225 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1620, 1704, 1795, 1839, 1788 and 1880 are included under the topic Early Murrell History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 107 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Murrell Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Murrell or a variant listed above:

Murrell Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Gregory Murrell, who landed in Maryland in 1650
  • George Murrell, who arrived in Maryland in 1658

Murrell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Robert Murrell, aged 25, landed in New York in 1812
  • Samuel Murrell, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813
  • John Murrell, who arrived in Texas in 1830

Murrell Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John Murrell, aged 19, a farm labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Constance"

Murrell Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Robert Murrell, aged 19, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • Sarah Murrell, aged 21, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874

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  • Chris Murrell, American jazz and gospel singer
  • Willie Vernon Murrell (b. 1941), American former professional basketball player
  • John Murrell OC, AOE (b. 1945), American-born Canadian playwright, recipient of the Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement (2008)
  • Marques Murrell (b. 1985), American football linebacker
  • Adrian Byran Murrell (b. 1970), former professional American NFL football running back
  • Walter M. Murrell, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Louisiana, 1948
  • W. F. Murrell (d. 1973), American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Missouri, 1940
  • Tellas M. Murrell, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Georgia, 1996
  • Samuel Murrell, American politician, Presidential Elector for Kentucky, 1820
  • Olin W. Murrell, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1932

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  • Lyle, Murrell, Nancy, Morton Genealogy by Gladys Elizabeth Odil Bracy.
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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. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  6. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  9. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Murrell Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Murrell 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 9 February 2016 at 09:02.

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