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Morris Coat of Arms / Morris Family Crest

Morris Coat of Arms / Morris Family Crest

MORRIS families in Ireland may derive from a number of possible origins. Some Morris families will be descendants of settlers of the name who came over from England and Wales, and others are descendants of earlier settlers of the Anglo-Norman invasion period, and of Norman origin, whose name was de Marreis. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour. Ireland was one of the earliest countries to evolve a system of hereditary surnames. They came into being fairly generally in the 11th century, and indeed a few were formed before the year 1000. Morris was the name of an extensive and powerful family in colonial North America, who played a leading part in the emergence of the nation. They were descended from Richard Morris (died 1672), who had fought in Cromwell's army and then became a merchant in Barbados. His son Lewis (1671-1746) established the 'manor' of Morrisiana in New York State. His grandson Lewis (1726-98), 3rd owner of that manor, was a signatory of the Declaration of Independence. Two other grandsons, Richard and Gouverneur, were also key figures in the Revolution. However, their half-brother Staats Morris (1728-1800) was a general in the British Army and governor of Quebec. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.

Arms registered at Templemore,


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last updated on: December 8th, 2017

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