This interesting surname of English origin is either a locational name, being a dialectal variant of Moorhay in Devon, deriving from the Olde English pre 7th Century "mor" meaning "moor" plus "gehaeg" "enclosure", or a topographical name for "a dweller at the nook on the moor", deriving from the Olde English "mor" plus the Old Norse "vra, ra" meaning "nook". The surname dates back to the early 13th Century (see below). Further recordings include William de Morewraa (1332) the Subsidy Rolls of Cumberland. Church Recordings include one Edward, son of Hugh Moorey, who was christened on February 22nd 1635, at St. Margaret's Westminster, Catherine, daughter of Thomas and Anne Moorey, who was christened on December 30th 1723, at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London, and William, son of John and Sarah Morrey who was christened on May 8th 1725, at St. Benet's, Paul's Wharf, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de la Morhage, which was dated 1207, in the "Pipe Rolls of Derbyshire", during the reign of King John, known as "Lackland", 1199 - 1216. 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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