Morrissey / / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Morrissey was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The only Gaelic Irish sept whose name has been anglicized as Morrissey or Morrissy is O'Muirgheasa, who were a branch of the Ui Fiachra. Their territory was at the Southern side of Sligo Bay. Morrissey is a name which is only very rarely to be found in any part of Connacht today, in fact it is chiefly confined to Munster, particularly Counties Waterford, Limerick and Cork. No Gaelic sept of Morrissey is associated with Munster or Leinster. It is nevertheless certain that the great majority of Irish Morrisseys and Morrissys are of Hibernicized Norman origin, from the name 'de Marisco'. The sixteenth century Ormond Deeds and Fiants and also the 'census' of 1659 indicate the presence of O'Morrisseys there who may have been Gaels or families of Norman stock and who assumed the 'O' prefix. Morris and Morrison are occasional variants of these names. The Morrissey 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 Morrissey descendants.