Morrissey surname history

Morris is a common surname throughout the British Isles, and in virtually all cases is derived, directly or indirectly, from the personal name Maurice, which comes from the Latin maurus, meaning "moorish" . A large number of those bearing the name in Ireland, where the name is most frequent in Leinster, with significant numbers also in Ulster and Connacht, will be of English, Scottish or Welsh origin.

There was also an Irish family, the O Muirgheasa, (from muir "sea" and geasa, "taboo") part of the Ui Fiachraigh tribal grouping in Co. Sligo, whose surname was originally anglicised Morrissey, and later shortened to Morris. O Muirgheasa was also the surname of a family in Co. Fermanagh who anglicised their name to Morris. The most prominent family of the name, one of the famous "Tribes of Galway", were of Norman extraction and originally known as de Marreis or de Marisco. The arms are for this family.

In addition, the Norman Fitzmaurice (in Irish Mac Muiris) has often been abbreviated to Morris. The Fitzmaurices were a branch of the Geraldines, very well known and still very numerous in their homeland near Lixnaw in Kerry. They were prominent in the resistance to the incursions of the English in the 16th century.

. James Fitzmaurice (1898-1965) became Commandant of the Irish Air Corps in 1927, and in 1928, together with his German co-pilot Captain Koehl, made the first east to west transatlantic flight. Lord Killanin (Michael Morris) (1914 - 2000) had a long and distinguished career as a journalist and businessman but is best known for his work with the International Olympic Committee, of which he was president from 1970 to 1980.

Gabriel Fitzmaurice (1952 - ) is a teacher in his native Kerry, a distinguished poet in both Irish and English and a recorded singer and performer, as well as providing much of the impetus for the annual Listowel Writers? Week.


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