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Morill Coat of Arms / Morill Family Crest

The surname of MORILL was a nickname 'the morel' the dark complexioned man. The name was originally derived from the Old French word 'more' and was brought over the 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. Other records of the name mention Herveus Morel, County Norfolk, 1273. Morel (without surname) was recorded in County Cambridge in the same year. Later instances of the name include Stephen Brewer and Ann Morrell who were married at Canterbury, Kent in the year 1666. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Registered at Plas Yolyn, County Salop, descended from John Morrall.

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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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