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History of my Morell Surname
Posted by: Wilbert Morell III (ID *****7868) Date: December 19, 2007 at 16:00:36
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I researched my roots in the United States to Ireland, England, France, & Germany. The Irish name for Morell is MacMurchada. Murchada (Sea Warrior). I traced my ancestors to Derry County, Ireland in 1688, where the name was spelled Murrell. My grandfather Wilbert told me his Father John & Grandfather Samuel told him our ancestors were from France prior to Ireland, & the spelling was Morell. They migrated from France to England & retained the spelling of Morell. They migrated to Northern Ireland & changed it to Murrell in the 1600s. After 1755, my Great, Great, Great, Grandfather Samuel Murrell’s family migrated from Balteagh to Desertoghil Parish & changed it back to Morell. My Great, Great, Great, Grandfather Samuel Murrell's brother, John Murrell was awarded a Flax Medal in Milbrook in 1796, which is in the possession of my second cousin Howard Morell III. Many of my Irish ancestors owned Flax plantations. My Great, Great Grandfather Samuel migrated from Ireland to America because of the potato Famine in 1844. My ancestors changed the surname spelling from Morell to Murrell to Morell for political, religious, & persecution reasons in France, England, & Ireland. My ancestors in Ireland were Presbyterians (Calvinists), & after my Great, Great Grandfather Samuel married Hannah Evans, they converted to Roman Catholic.

French Protestants were called Huguenots & represented the majority of the middle class & skilled workforce before the reformation of France. Over 250,000 Huguenots were slain or exiled from France in the 1600s. One example, Daniel Morell, from Champagne, France, was an infant when both parents & family were slain, but no information on the rest of his relatives is known. Stephen Conte’s mother saved Daniel & her son as infants & she raised them together. As young adults Daniel Morell & Stephen Conte migrated to Holland & joined the Prince of Orange during the Irish wars. Both settled in Ireland (1640-1714) & married protestant women. Daniel’s oldest son Stephen married Stephen Conte's daughter & they had a son named Stephen. Stephen Morell joined the navy & fought in the Irish wars. Stephen married & had 3 sons (Stephen, John, & Thomas), but he died shortly after. Good story, but I found no connection between Daniel and my family.

The Morell families that migrated from France: to Scotland, Holland, Germany, & Spain spelled it Morell; in England & Ireland spelled it Morell, Morrell & Murrell; to Italy spelled it Morello & Morelli. The de Morells who were Roman Catholic stayed in France & retained the name De Morell & other spellings. The Murrells first show up in Ireland after the Reformation in 1688. I have a coat of arms with a family history that indicates Morell is Norman English & was initially spelled Morel with above derivations going back to Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD.

Before migrating to France, the Morells were Vikings, Norseman from Scandinavia. In 982 AD, Rollo the Viking Chief conquered most of Northern France. He made a treaty with the King to settle on the conquered land, and in turn agreed not to take his thrown. These settlers were called Norseman & later Normans until the 16th Century. They were converted to Roman Catholicism, but many converted to Protestant Religions in the 1500s. The Normans conquered the Saxons of England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 AD & there were many Morells awarded Lands in England & Ireland by William the Conqueror. In summary, my ancestors were not Irish, English, or French, they were Vikings from Scandinavia.

Names were often misspelled by immigration & census officials & based on pronunciation. The various accents of immigrants, poor hand writing skills of officials, poor communication skills, & poor data entry in my generation were to blame.


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