Morris Family History
The ancient origin of the name Morris was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Morris is a baptismal name taken from 'the son of Maurice'. Variants include Fitzmaurice, Morrish, Morriss, Morrison, Morice and Morrice. Meaning 'dark complexioned one', this name is of Anglo-Norman descent spreading to Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in the above countries. Examples of such are a Ricardus Morrisson, who was recorded in the 'Poll Tax' of the West Riding of Yorkshire in the year 1379 and a Gilbert Morice who held a tenement in Irvine, Scotland, in the year 1540. In Ireland the first Morris family arrived with the Normans and were known as Marreis. In 1485 a branch settled in Galway and were prominent people of commercial and social activities. Morris is also used as an abbreviation of Fitzmaurice who were a branch of the Geraldines and Lords of Lixnaw, in County Kerry.The Morris family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Morris descendants.