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Moretto Coat of Arms / Moretto Family Crest

Moretto Coat of Arms / Moretto Family Crest

The French surname of MORETTO was a nickname 'the morel' the dark complexioned man. The name was originally derived from the Old French word 'more' and was brought over to England in the wake of the Norman Invasion of 1066. The earliest of the name on record appears to be MORELLUS (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086. Many factors contributed to the establishment of a surname system. For generations after the Norman Conquest of 1066 a very few dynasts and magnates passed on hereditary surnames, but the main of the population, with a wide choice of first-names out of Celtic, Old English, Norman and Latin, avoided ambiguity without the need for a second name. As society became more stabilized, there was property to leave in wills, the towns and villages grew and the labels that had served to distinguish a handful of folk in a friendly village were not adequate for a teeming slum where perhaps most of the householders were engaged in the same monotonous trade, so not even their occupations could distinguish them, and some first names were gaining a tiresome popularity, especially Thomas after 1170. The hereditary principle in surnames gained currency first in the South, and the poorer folk were slower to apply it. By the 14th century however, most of the population had acquired a second name. The name is also spelt MORELLUS, MOREL, MORRILL, MOUREAUX and MORELLETT. The earliest established bearer of the surname is Sir Geofffrey MORRELL (died 1321) of Roding in Essex. The name was taken to America by the brothers Abraham and Isaac Morrill, who arrived at the Massachusetts Bay Colony in September, 1632. A notable member of the name was Jeanne MOREAU, born in 1928, the French actress and director, born in Paris. She was a pupil at the Conservatoire National D'Art Dramatique, and made her stage debut with the Comedie Francaise in 'A Month in the Country' (1948) and her film debut in 'Dernier Armour' (1948. Her most famous films include 'Les Amants' (1958) and 'Viva Maria' (1965).

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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