SURNAMES as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. MORRISON was a baptismal name 'the son of Morris'. In Latin documents the name appears as MAURICII. Early records of the name mention Andrew Mauricii who was a notary public in Scotland in 1450, and John Moricii was the burgess of Glasgow in 1480. Thomas Moris, was documented in the year 1400, in County Yorkshire. Robert Wolf married Joanne Morrys at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1602. Isabell Garret married Alice Morrice, at the same church in the year 1602. 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. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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