In Aberdeen the Morrisons of Bognie and later another unrelated family, the Morrisons of Pitfour, also made astute marriages. The Morrisons of Bognie still maintain a continuous unbroken family lineage dating from , the oldest in Scotland. In the early part of the s following considerable violent clan unrest in the Western Hebrides and adjacent Highlands, particularly between the MacDonalds, MacCaulays, MacLeods, MacKays and MacKenzies, a number of families on Lewis and Harris and nearby Sutherland on the mainland who had allegiances with these clans saw fit to Anglicise their names from the Gaelic.
This mythical representation has no basis in fact. The Morrisons of Prestongrange, Dairsie and Bognie all registered their heraldic family crests featuring three Moor or Saracen heads in the s. Similar crests were also registered by the Murison and Muir families. This design featuring three Saracen heads was selected by the Clan Morrison Society of Scotland in Three families from the Caithness and Sutherland regions Gunn, McWilliam and Morrison selected pattern sett variations of the green MacKay tartan of A different red Morrison pattern sett of unknown origin was also worn in the s which allow Morrison families today a choice of two tartans, a green or a red.
In addition to the myths about the origin of the Morrisons there have also been some spurious claims made about the evolution of the Morrison tartans, however the facts are that both the Green and Red tartans were in common use before The Scottish History of the Morrison Origins. This research questions the origins of the name Morrison in Scotland. The findings that are presented reach an evidence based conclusion that the commonly published stories of the name originating on the Isle of Lewis are false. This conclusion is self evident after analysing historical and contemporary literature supported by DNA sampling and genealogical data.
Generally speaking extensive quotations are by convention not academic practice, however in the context of providing readers with as much historical evidence and a feeling for the historical background this convention has not been followed. In some of the issues covered there are many unanswered questions created by the lack of primary evidence, however tentative answers can be arrived at on the balance of probabilities. What is definite is that the Morrison name originated on the mainland, most probably from the Lowlands, and has evolved into the current spelling from a variety of alternative spellings attached to numerous unrelated families over a broad regional landscape.
Some of the earliest evidence of movement into Scotland comes from a dig at Cramond near to where modern Edinburgh stands today. Then later, discoveries of standing stones on a site named Calanais on the Isle of Lewis date settlement there to around BC. It is left by traditione that these were a sort of men converted into stone by ane Inchanter.
Others affirme that they were sett up in places for devotione" John Morisone of South Bragar, c , quoted in Magnussen, , p 7. The earliest settlements in Scotland therefore took root in the Lowlands before moving north to the highlands and across into to the Northern Isles as the climate continued to moderate and were populated by groups of simple hunter gatherers. M is thought to have originated in Southeast Europe in the early Bronze Age.
Other descendants of these farmers carry the M, M and M35 markers and point to settlement in the south of Scotland where they still cluster today. DNA distribution demonstrates the fallacy of this claim. If it is true that the Morrisons evolved from many different origins and that the name Morrison is about the 20th most common name in Scotland today then one might expect to find Morrisons carrying a variety of DNA. Alternatively, if the Morrisons came from Norse Vikings as per the popular mythology and all came from a single progenitor then they would carry the Norse DNA.
None however are Morrisons. Of all people tested as at May as part of the Morrison DNA project not a single result demonstrates Norse origins. Although far from being a statistically reliable study, if one takes the sample of Morrisons who are members of the Morrison DNA Project http: These irregular samples would tend to support the general rule that the R-M DNA marker is the most common in the general Scottish population, and also amongst people carrying the Morrison name.
Since M is one of the oldest identified DNA markers according to Moffat and Wilson in Scotland it suggests the original Morrisons in Scotland came from the South and slowly migrated North over the evolving years of human settlement. The resultant population differentiation from the northward migration is given by Matheson who discusses at length the long history of political and military interference by the English in Scotland: The most feudalised of these was the Lowlands in the south and east of Scotland. This was the heartland of the state … [and] possessed the richest land for cultivation, the best trading contacts with Europe across the North Sea and the chief towns and ports, but it was also the most exposed to attacks from England.
About two-thirds of the population lived here, wore the breeks … and spoke Scots. Looking back in Scottish history, the sociocultural ways of Lowland life were pushed North and accelerated by political forces. King David had at his disposal Anglo Norman warriors and English barons to enforce the feudal system on the Scots. As the pace of social and political change intensified during the s the first Morrisons are identified by surname.
By the s many Morrisons were identifiable in the historical Burgh records where they showed an active involvement as burgesses and merchants. Scottish Surnames and Variants, Some people hold a belief that a name somehow represents a common relationship between all others sharing that name.
Thus, if your name is Morrison it follows that sometime in the past you shared a male relative whose name was Morrison. This belief is reinforced by writers of commercial Scottish clan histories who make fanciful claims about the origins of the clans. Lenman in his detailed analysis of the Jacobite risings clarifies the oft misunderstood origin of the clans: In the case of northern clans such as Grants, Chisholms and Frasers, whose chiefs were probably all of Norman origin, there cannot possibly have been any blood-tie between the first chief and his people.
The most common myth about the origin of the Morrison name associates it with a group of Hebridean islanders who were reputed to be descended from Norse Vikings. You only have one father, one father's father, etc. But the price of that simplicity is irrelevance: It may be the case that your mitochondrial DNA lineage came to Britain with the Vikings — although that would be extremely difficult to demonstrate scientifically — but if true, this would still say very little about your origin.
This is reminiscent of the "Forer effect" in psychology — the observation that individuals will tend to believe descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people. The mythical fable about the Norse origin of the Morrison name suggests there was a single progenitor, meaning all people with the name Morrison are related.
They all share the same surname, therefore they must be related. But what if it turns out that David Jonathan adopted his name from his foster parents who raised him when his biological parents were killed in a German bombing raid in WW2. Consider also males named Morrison at birth who later changed to another name, for example, the legendary American screen actor John Wayne. He was born Marion Robert Morrison, but when he began his acting career a producer convinced him to change his name to John Wayne. Does this mean people with the surname Wayne are related to John Wayne?
William Bethune, of Blebo, eo. This gentleman, paternally Chalmers, m. To help the reader understand the complexity of the anthroponomastics of the surname Morrison in Scotland, it is important to state from the outset there are a multitude of origins for the name Morrison, just like the name Jonathan above, and only a few close knit communities existing today have within them any kin who can at best be traced back a few hundred years.
There are few reliable historical records available to verify family relationships dating back to early Scotland.
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In terms of tracing Morrison family origins the often quoted myth about the Vikings who invaded the Hebrides in the 9th Century is, according to John Morrison quoted in Thomas, and Captain F W L Thomas , the starting point for all the Morrisons in Scotland. Should we blindly accept their assertions as fact? This is how the myth began. Mores, the son of Kennanus, whom the Irish historians call Makurich, whom they make to be naturall son to one of the kings of Norovay, some of whose posteritie remains in this land to this day. To put these dates into an historical perspective, the Scottish King James I was assassinated in , and in William Sinclair commenced work on Rosslyn Chapel.
The origins of family names is not dissimilar to the geographic origins of Scotland. Moffat and Wilson detail their theory of genetic migration into Scotland from the time of the melting of the ice that covered the landscape around 9, BC. What Scotland never had were pockets of discrete clans that emerged spontaneously dotted all over the map who were identified by tartans and traditions.
The clans, identified by surnames, evolved slowly through history with changing allegiances and bloody clashes over ever changing territorial boundaries. Until 9, BC, Scotland was empty of people and animals. For 15, years, ice, more than a kilometre thick in places, had crushed the land under pitiless white sterility where nothing could live. Added to this, not all members of a clan necessarily shared a common surname for it was normal practice for families living within the clan lands to adopt the name of their chief.
The clan industry we see today is really a nineteenth century invention, fuelled by eager tourism marketers keen to profit from the sale of clan bric-a-brac and popularised by the Hollywood award winning film Braveheart Mel Gibson, Braveheart is littered with sentimental nonsense about William Wallace and historical inaccuracies. It even has a part for a Lanark villager named Morrison whose wife was the victim of a so-called practice of Primae Noctis in This filmic character would make him the first person in Scotland to have the surname Morrison, a name that did not become as a recognisable written surname until the early s.
What does claiming to be Scottish mean? Scottish people have evolved from an amalgamation of Picts northern Scotland down to the borders , Gaels the Western Isles and South West Scotland , Britons from the south moving north across the border country as well as the Romans, Normans, Norse Vikings and Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and Flemish who all had a significant influence on the genetic mix.
Then there were the European traders such as the Poles and the Dutch who brought further ethnic mixes into the equation. The French had a significant impact around the time of Mary Queen of Scots. George F Black cites, for example, the origin of some families in Buckhaven in Fife being from a Dutch ship that was stranded about the time of Phillip II of Spain in p xix.
Modern Scots are therefore like the crystals in a kaleidoscope, the more you turn the viewer the more the pattern changes. For some Scots, particularly in the Orkneys and Western Isles in the 9th Century the Vikings infused themselves into all aspects of their lives. The Lowlands became a melting pot of genetic variety. So who are the Morrisons? They are a blend of peoples who by history or desire either became known as Morrison or who changed or adopted the name. If you analyse the genetic makeup of people calling themselves Morrison today you see a spectrum of DNA meaning one thing, there is no common descent.
They are a heterogenous mixture. These different people were drawn together in the s by an institutional decree insisting on the uniformity of spelling surnames so that public documents could become reliable and traceable records, for example, births, deaths and marriages. The first Scots to have surnames were those of noble lines and wealthy landowners. King Malcolm III reigned for thirty-five years, and one of his historical legacies was the securing of the border country between Cumbria and Northumberland. After the Normans arrived in Britain in their conquest drove many of the English aristocracy north into Scotland, including Princess Margaret of Hungary, the granddaughter of Edmund Ironside half brother of Edward the Confessor.
At this time Malcolm Canmore was a widower. When he heard that Edgar the Atheling and his mother and two sisters had landed in Fife he rode from Dunfermline to greet them. This marriage produced children who became future kings of Scotland and princesses who married into English royalty see Magnussen, , p David I had many English friends such as the Bruces, Balliols and Stewarts to whom he gave large grants of land. His allegiances to the Benedictine and Cistercian monks saw their influence expand through the borders into the Lowlands by way of Abbeys and business enterprises, building settlements and employing many people.
These settlements were based on Norman administrative structures of authority and management: Many of their number ended up in Scotland, particularly in Fife around St Andrews and up into Aberdeenshire. Readers might like to keep this fact in mind when assessing the evidence of the possibility of the name Morrison originating in the Lowlands in much the same way Gilmore did. A document described by Cosmo Innes to date from identifies such names as Gilchrist Gillecrist and Gilmore Gylmor living in the Midlothians Black, , p xxi. The Ragman Roll of is remarkable for the recording of names that clearly show English ancestry see Black, pp xxi-xxiv.
Thus there is a clear and unambiguous pattern of the spread of Anglo Norman surnames into the Lowlands of Scotland. Many Morrison clusters have been identified throughout Scotland after moving north from the Borders through to the Lothians, Fifeshire, Perthshire, Forfarshire, Aberdeenshire, then later in Ross and Cromarty before the final cluster on Lewis and Harris was established following their adoption of the name Morrison in the s.
Other areas around Glasgow, Stirling and Clackmannanshire saw early Morrison establishment. There are also strong associations with the name Morrison in Ireland and England. Today the name Morrison is recorded as about the twentieth most common name in Scotland, and is prominently seen throughout the UK via the Morrison chain of supermarkets and fuel distributers established in Yorkshire by an English Morrison family. If one looks at all the evidence then any proposition that the name Morrison came from a single source is quite erroneous.
As has been shown, DNA testing demonstrates the diversity of origin.
The key here is the difference between genealogy the study and tracing of lines of descent and etymology the origin and meaning of names. That is, just because your name is Morrison does not mean you are related or that your early ancestors were Morrisons. This is further distorted by the origins of the name which suggests a variety of sources based on both the etymology and ethnography of human migration that is for example, Pict, Gael, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Norse, Roman or Norman just to name a few!
That Aberdeen was the burgh he had in view seems most likely. The list of Burgesses here given, beginning in the year , is therefore most interesting, as the earliest list of names of Aberdeen folk known to exist. The date of it is considerably later than that selected by Cosmo Innes. Consequently the changes which were going on in nomenclature in William the Lion's time are now less apparent, and the methods of naming have, so to speak, become crystallised Miscellany of the New Spalding Club, , pp xl- xliii, Note on the Names in the Register of Burgesses.
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Traditionally there are numerous ways a surname evolved. Cosmo Innes , see the footnote for his examples lists nine potential origins: Barber , p 6 suggests at least eight ways that a surname could have come into being: Establishing the origin of many surnames in Scotland is no easy task since for some the name they were given bore no genetic link to paternity. From the list of early spellings of the name Morrison many Morrisons may have come from patronymic forms of Muir Muireson , More Moreson or Moresoun or Maurice Mauriceson.
There are a host of spellings scattered throughout the historical documents of Scotland which have later been transcribed into the modern spelling of Morrison including Morison, Morisson, Morisone, Morrieson, Morriceson, Morason, Moorison, Morisoun, Moresoun, Murison, Muirison, Murieson, Murrison, Muresoun, Muirsoun and no doubt many other phonetic synonyms or Anglicised adaptations.
A curious addition to this list could also include MacGillemorisone, a rare name found in Ardmanoch which no longer exists Black, , p One of the most detailed and scholarly approaches to Scottish surnames is the outstanding work by George F Black: In he identifies Andreas Morison, a licentiate of law in St Andrews.
In the sixteenth century Scots Guards records show the spelling as Maurieson. In Kirkcaldy in Moresone, and later Moresoune, Moriesone and Moriesoun, were alternative spellings. Other interesting variations are found in Aberdeen in as Mwryson, and in Kirkcaldy as Murysone p The plethora of early surname spellings which we recognise as Morrison today serves as a timely reminder not to leap to single derivation conclusion.
Up until surnames became standardised they were often written as they sounded to the scribe. This no doubt contributed to the many variations of the spelling of Morrison. From this range of alternative spellings in Scottish documents over the past years there are at least three modern surnames that can be distilled from the following list discussed in detail in Chapter Whilst the spelling of Morison or Morrison have been the more widely accepted modern corrections of the early variations of spellings given above, the name Muirson has also persisted as modern surname in its own right.
The difficulty in arriving at a consensus view on their origins would have to include research into the interrelatedness of the three surnames of Morris, Moore and Muir and their various spellings to determine if at any stage all three are but variations or not of one or more original surnames. Such a task may well prove impossible, and for many people named Morrison today determining which variant their name derived from may never be known. Their history which began in Edinburgh during the mid s is detailed later in Chapter 6. A tack of two parts to Gothra Morison,.. A final reference to consider regarding the evolution of the Morrison name comes from The Internet Surname Database: It is the patronymic form of the surname Maurice or Morris, deriving from the Latin "Mauritius", and meaning swarthy, from "Maurus", a Moor.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Morisson. This was dated , in the Poll Tax records of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, - According to Moody , p 19 surnames only became fixed in the Highlands in the eighteenth century. In other words highland surnames were still changing as late as the s. Donaldson clearly makes the point that surnames are not an infallible guide to family relationship and pedigree: Readers should be aware that Morrison is not a translation from the Gaelic name MacGilliemhoire as often claimed. If one were to attempt to classify these early Aberdeen names, one would find them grouping themselves somewhat in this fashion:.
These seem to have been introduced by the Normans, and originally had before them. Of the earlier names, the following seem to belong to this class: Petfour, Kent, Mernys, Polgowny Balgownie? The "learned" Camden says: This was an earlier form, and it is interesting to see it surviving so late as the beginning of the 15th century. To this class belong names like: So we find Davidson, Johnson, Andrewson, i.
Besides the regular termination, son, added to the ordinary name, other forms are found, such as: Blyndcele from sealing or covering the eyes of the falcons , Cf. Foreigners or Travelled Scots. Scot a name the bearer had gained while residing furth of Scotland , Aberdene, Inglis English. Before shops were numbered, they were distinguished by signs. Hence we get names like Bell, Lamb, Oliphant? Elephant , Swan, Herrowne Heron. Michaelis afterwards Mitchell , Michaelson.
Certain Norman Names belonging mostly to the Territorial Class are found disguised. Among these, Menzies De Maneriis, Eng. Celtic names are far from numerous. Indeed, the population would seem to have been mainly Teutonic. MacGilliemhoire, the most commonly misrepresented translation is often erroneously suggested to be Gaelic for Morrison. One could reasonably ask why this Gaelic name was never adopted on Lewis.
Moireasdan and Moireasdanach, translate to Morrison. The most heated academic debates often involve arguments that are contrary to a prevailing orthodoxy. This in part is misplaced nostalgia, celebrating Norse folklore rather than Scottish heritage. Put plainly, all Morrisons did not originate in the Hebrides and are not descended from Norse Vikings.
The Morrisons are a wide ranging loose collection of families with no essential genealogical or DNA connection. In between there are other colourful theories such as Sir Kenneth More and the Crusades. Over time the name Morrison has been synthesised from a variety of origins and become fixed.
It could equally have become fixed as Moore, Moir, Muir or Murison, and certainly there are numerous other permutations of the name all around the periphery with some vague historical connection.
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Making sense of all that has been written about the name Morrison be it fable, speculation, history or fact requires a similar skill of being able to weave a recognised clan tartan from all its basic ingredients without a pattern. One of the more established theories about the origin of the name Morrison is that it has mutated from the Roman Moor Legion commander named Maurice who was later canonised by the Catholic Church to become Saint Maurice. This explains but one theory in the process of evolution of the name.
The relevant ingredients for evolution into the Morrison name are: Maurice of Aganaum was a Moor after whom the name Maurice or Morris is said to have derived. According to legend he was a 3rd Century leader of the Roman Thebian Legion. Maurice came from the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes and was a Christian who joined the Roman army. From there he is supposed to have been ordered by the Roman Emperor Maximian to harass some Christians in the Swiss area of Aganaum.
Maurice refused and he and many of his men were executed. For his act of martyrdom he was created a Saint. Because Maurice was an Egyptian he is portrayed as a black man. He became the patron saint of the Holy Roman Empire from the beginning of the 10th century. According to European Heraldry the insignia of the black head was probably meant to represent Maurice the soldier saint since a majority of the arms awarded were knightly or military.
Thus the origin of the Blackamoor the black Moor head on many coats of arms is a recognition of a church militant and champion of the Roman Church in a time when its authority was being challenged by Luther and Calvin. The arrival of the name Maurice is reported as coming to England from Normandy with William the Conqueror about During the reign of David I of Scotland a strong Norman influence was introduced into many parts of Scotland. This was a result of rewarding Norman warriors with land after they helped subdue the warring Moray family.
The Normans also helped David I maintain control of the the border regions, including Carlisle which was for a time part of Scotland.
A grand-child of Stooping Maurice was involved in a murder and was forced to flee to Scoon [Scone] in Perthshire and these descendants are now named Morreises or Morrison and live around this area through to Stirling and Culross. The ancestor of the first of these Septs, for any thing can be found, was an illegitimate son of Maurice, second of that name, laird of Buchanan, in the latter part of the reign of King Robert I.
Those of this race reside mostly in the heads of Straithern, and Strathallan, and a few of them in the parish of Callendar. This Maurice is reported to have been of very huge stature, but withal so very coarse and unhandsome, as gave occasion for his being little regarded; so that in the time of King James IV. Mean while, Maurice getting some notice of the advance of his party, went to get surer intelligence, and passing accidentally near the hill in which the party lay, Kenneth, the captain, observing him, went alone to him, to get information of the state of the country.
Maurice seeming to take little notice of him, went still on, giving no satisfactory answer to any of his demands; which at length so exasperated MacKenzie, that he gave Maurice a stroak with his sword, not being at the trouble of drawing the same; which was no sooner done, than Maurice gave him such a stroak with his battle-ax, as clave his head to the teeth, whereupon he returned instantly to Buchanan, and alarmed the country.
The party in a little time awakening, and finding their captain in that bad posture, returned with all speed back without doing the least violence. The place where this action was done, yet retains the name of Kenneth's plain. A grand-child of this Maurice, having killed a servant of my Lord Glencairn, who resided in Kilmaronock, was obliged to leave his native country of Buchanan, and go to the village of Scoon, north of Tay.
His posterity in these parts, are termed Morreises, or Morrisons. Some of these came thence, and settled upon Forth, betwixt Stirling and Culross, of whom, are descended most of the Morisons in those parts. There are also some of this last Sept in the parish of Buchanan, who retain their ancient name of MacMaurice, but very few in number pp In stark contrast to the passionate writing of William Buchanan and his history of the clans, Adam , p in a similarly themed work also cites these two origins of MacMaurice in his description of the Buchanan Septs but does not mention the Morrison connection to Stooping Maurice.
The Adam work also references the Morrison origins p but apart from quoting Sir Robert Gordon and Captain Thomas, repeats the mythology without any evidence. Overall it is a significant work that gives few references for the reader to evaluate the source of his theories and statements. It has not been possible to verify this gift in which would have been from King John of England to William I of Scotland.
Whilst Oggins references an Adam de la Mora being a falconer, there is no mention of him being sent to Scotland. Rather, he was granted land in England by Richard I for falconry service Oggins, p some time before By the evidence of ancient charters, the orthography of this name seems to have been so various as to occasion some difficulty in distinguishing the different families who bore it, as we find individuals of the same family promiscuously designed by the name of Moir, More, Moor, Moore, Mure, Muir, sometimes contracted to Mr and even Moresoun, Morrison and Mureson.
The name has a double origin, from Maure or Saracen, borne by foreign families in most of the continental countries of Europe, varied in accordance with the peculiar idiom of the country, and in Scotland from the Gaelic etymology Mohr, big or great, allusive to remarkable size of person. If Morrison is a patronymic of Moir or More then the Burgess records from Aberdeen would suggest the adoption of the name Morrison took place some time around as a Patrick More cautioner to Thomas Amfrey is identified in as the first spelling of More in Aberdeenshire.
It is shown later from these same Burgess records the name Moresoun and similar sounding spellings were quite frequent in Aberdeen. From the Colquhoun records it was Arthuro Morison in who is the first named Morrison. That is, Arthuro might have been the son of someone named More as the surname was often spelled as Moresoun. This as a patronymic would be the son of More. Caution is advised before accepting this proposition since this is speculative theory and has no evidence to support it. In fact six Mores were forced to sign the Ragman Roll in More Mor de Cragg, Reynaud del counte de Lanark.
More de Leuenaghes, Douenal le fiz Michel del counte de Dunbretan. More, de Thaugarfton, Symon de la del counte de Lanark. More, Adam de la del counte de Are. More, Gilcrift del counte de Are. More, Renaud de la Renaud del counte de Are. The name Morref later became written as Murray, but given the latitude given to the broad sounding of names and their phonetic interpretation the son of Morref could easily have been transcribed from the patronymic form of Morrefson to Morrison or Murray to Murysoun to Morrison.
The SRO lists eight options in a surname search: Exact surname, Wildcard, Narrow metaphone, Broad metaphone, Fuzzy matching, Surnames that begin with, Surname variants and Traditional soundex. Sir Kenneth More and The Crusades. Running counter to the image of St Maurice the martyr and patron saint of the Holy Roman Empire is the idea that the bloodied Moors heads on some Scottish coats of arms are traceable to the Crusades.
The knights travelled to Seville and offered their support to Alfonso for his Crusade to rid the Iberian Peninsula of non-Christians. Sir Kenneth More survived and transported home the remains of the fallen Scottish knights.
Tod im Kilt. John Mackenzies zweiter Fall by Emma Goodwyn
This is but another legend that appears to be on shaky ground as there is no general agreement about the event or who was present. He had on board six knights, linked in friendship, neighbouring landowners from the Stewart domains: An alternative obscure claim dates the origin of the three Moor heads to the Siege of Acre in where King Richard the Lionheart gained notoriety for massacring Saracen prisoners. Roderick Campbell , pp wrote this fanciful and inaccurate account: No other clan has this badge.
The tradition attached to this crest and coat of arms tells how my worthy and rugged ancestor the MacGhillie Mhoire, at the siege of Acre in , was seen to fly before three Saracens, who attacked him together. His flight, however, was but a feint, and when he had drawn them far enough from their supporters, he turned and slew them one by one.
Sir Kenneth could possibly have been related to Ranald, and hence his devotion to the Bruce and reason for joining the crusade. Remember these origin theories are just that, theories. There is a great deal of folklore surrounding the Crusades in much the same way there is about Norse genetics in Scotland. The more the story is repeated the more it becomes embellished. These origin theories are presented merely as possibilities. The reader has to weigh up the evidence for whichever theory they choose, including the vey real possibility that there may be more than one possibility given the variety of spellings for Morrison up until the mid s.
Let us now examine some of the earliest examples of the Morrison crest which traditionally incorporates three Moor or Saracen heads as depicted in these three examples:. Adam repeats the traditional mythical account of the Morrison origins being descendants of the Brieves of Lewis pp using R N Thomas and Sir Robert Gordon of Sutherland who incidentally never identified any clan Morrison let alone their origin as sources.
Apart from the Muir family fable about the slaying of three Moors during the Crusades, research about the origin of saracen heads on some family coats of arms suggests the three black heads could depict the Mediterranean Moor Pirates also known as the Barbary Pirates that operated in the Levant where English and Scottish traders operated in the s. Moors heads on coats of arms could be recognition about fighting Moors to protect the trading routes.
A stronger interpretation follows the progression regarding the origin of the name Morrison from de la Mora to Moir, to Muir, to Murison and to Morrison incorporating the use of Moors heads seen on a variety coats of arms and the adoption of the three Moors heads into the crests depicted above. The only Morrisons who have not incorporated the Saracen heads are from Sutherland and Lewis.
These Highland Morrisons have evolved their own separate crests. The English and Irish Morrisons also have alternative heraldic emblems. The most influential of the overseas Morrison clan organisations are the American Morrisons who have aligned themselves to the non traditional crest from a Morrison family on the Isle of Lewis which features prominently in commercial bric a brac.
Fairbairn also lists various Morrison families and their crests on pages and spelling of Morison and page spelling of Morrison. Thus it can be concluded that the Lowland Morrison families have a common link via the Heraldic Arms and Motto that they share. A Knight named Sir Kenneth Moir or Moor is the reputed to be behind the origin of the three Moors heads and the adoption of the three Moors heads on the family crests of the Moir and Morrison families. The conclusion is therefore that the Morrison name in Scotland is most likely of Norman origin, neither Gaelic or Norse, and spread northwards from the borders and Lowlands where the first Morrison families were recorded.
The forebears of this family have been erroneously promoted as the origin of the Morrison name in Scotland which is analysed in depth in Chapter 4: There appears as much fable and fiction about the origins of the Morrison tartan as there is about the origins of the Morrison name. We are left now with only scraps of written evidence, which are far removed from original sources and frustratingly lacking in coherence. It is evidence so fragmentary as to render any comment extremely speculative. The impression given is of the quite extraordinary circumstance wherein this one clan appears to have given accounts of the relatively recent emergence of two tartans, when in one case an identical sett, and in the other case an almost identical sett, can be shown to have existed at prior dates.
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Be the first to ask a question about Tod im Kilt. John Mackenzies zweiter Fall. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Auch der zweite Fall von John Mackenzie ist sehr unterhaltsam. Ich freue mich auf die Fortsetzungen. Charlotte rated it liked it Apr 24, Runes rated it it was amazing Nov 05, Nic rated it really liked it Apr 22, The sea was certainly one of his great loves, Sacha, and came up a good deal in the funeral tributes. Tuesday, September 10, R. Dr John Mackenzie Ross. Peacefully on 10 September at Aria Gardens.
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