Recorded as O'Morahan, O'Moran, McMorran, Moran, Morran, Morahan and others this is a very confusing surname. It is clearly of Irish origins, but as Moran, Morin, and Morain are also recorded in France, Ireland and England, the name could be from any of those countries. Taking Ireland first, the modern spelling originates from the pre 10th century Olde Gaelic "Murchain", meaning Murdoch, and in the forms above has been very popular in counties Offally and Kildare since at least 1659. At that time it was shown to be the most numerous name in at least five baronies. In England the name originated from the word "Moor" and as such was given as a diminutive nickname to people of swarthy appearance. The surname is ancient and was first recorded towards the middle of the 12th Century (see below). Frequent entries of the name in church registers of Kent and London from the mid 17th Century onwards indicate that it was also re-introduced by French Huguenot refugees fleeing religious persecutions in their own country around this time. These recordings include Leydie, daughter of Jean Moreun, who was christened at the Walloon or Strangers Church, Canterbury, on May 5th 1647, whilst Auger Morin was christened at the French Huguenot Church, Threadneedle Street, London, on July 3rd 1692. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Morin. This was dated circa 1140, in the Documents relating to the Danelaw for the city of London, during the reign of King Stephen, known as "Count of Blois", 1135 - 1154. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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