Meaning and Origin of: Morris

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First name origins & meanings:

  • Latin : Dark-skinned; like a Moor
  • Latin : Dark-skinned

Last name origin & meaning:

  • English and Scottish : from Maurice, an Old French personal name introduced to Britain by the Normans, Latin Mauritius, a derivative of Maurus (see Moore). This was the name of several early Christian saints. In some cases it may be a nickname of the same derivation for someone with a swarthy complexion.
  • Irish : Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Muirghis, a variant of Ó Muirgheasa (see Morrissey).
  • Welsh : Anglicized form of the Welsh personal name Meurig (from Latin Mauritius), which was gradually superseded in Wales by Morus, Morys, a derivative of the Anglo-Norman French form of the name (see 1).
  • German : variant of Moritz.
  • Americanized form of any of various like-sounding Jewish surnames (see Morse).
  • Morris was the name of an extensive and powerful family in colonial North America, whose members played a leading part in the emergence of the nation. They were descended from Richard Morris (d. 1672), who fought in Oliver Cromwell’s army and then became a merchant in Barbados. His son Lewis (1671–1746) established the “manor” of Morrisania in NY. His grandson, Lewis (1726–98), third owner of that manor, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Two other grandsons, Richard and Gouverneur, were also key figures in the Revolution. Their half-brother Staats Morris (1728–1800) was a general in the British army who was appointed governor of Quebec.

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