The Clan/Sept History
This old Welsh surname comes from the Latin personal name Mauritius, which means
dark. In Britain, Maurice was the learned form of the name, while Morice was the
common form. The surname Morris was likely also assumed as a surname after being
a nickname for a dark or swarthy person.
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. In the early Middle Ages, the general population was almost
entirely illiterate and literary languages had inconsistent rules regarding
spelling. As a result, 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 Morris name over the
years has been spelled Morris, Morriss, Moriss, Morrice, Morice, Moris and
First found in Herefordshire, where they were seated from very ancient times,
some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at
Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th
and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other
immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the
development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents
added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and
villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a
number of people bearing the name Morris: Patrick Morris who settled in
Philadelphia in 1852; George Morris settled in Virginia in 1774; Humphrey Morris
settled in Barbados in 1635; Jenkin Morris settled in Virginia in 1635.
Present your clan/sept crest in a most unique and attractive way by choosing an Irish Clan/Sept Shield by Rowan Heraldic Shields!