This name, with variant spellings More and Mor, has two distinct possible origins, the first being an English nickname for a man of swarthy complexion, deriving from the Old French "more", meaning moor or swarthy. One Johannes filius (son of) More was recorded in The Knights Templars Records of Lincolnshire, dated 1185. The second possibility is that the name derives from the Old Gaelic "mor", meaning great or big, and was originally given as a nickname to one of large stature. William Mor (witness) appears in the 1198 Fine Court Rolls of Essex, and Thomas le Mor in the Curia Rolls of Kent, dated 1201. One Thomas Mor, "tacksman of Quyis", was entered in the 1492, Records of the Earldom of Orkney, Scotland. The marriage was recorded in Scotland of Margrett Moir and James Kay on February 4th 1570, at St. Nicholas', Aberdeenshire. David MacBeth Moir (1798 - 1851), physician and author, published "Outlines of the Ancient History of Medicine" in 1831. George Moir (1800 - 1870), advocate and author, became a professor of Scottish Law in 1864. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Stewin Moir, which was dated 1558, Assize Jurors at Housgarth, Sandwick, Scotland, during the reign of Queen Mary of Scotland, 1542 - 1567. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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