This interesting surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is locational from places so called in Lincolnshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. The placenames are derived from the Old English pre 7th century elements "mor", marsh, fen, and "hus", house, and mean the "house on the marsh". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The name could also be topographical for someone who lived in a house on the marsh. The surname development since 1180, (see below) includes the following: Matilda del Morhouse (1301, Yorkshire), Geoffrey atte Morhouse (1327, Somerset), Adam de Merehouse (1379, Yorkshire) and William Morhous (1440, Yorkshire). The modern surname can be found as Moorhouse, Morehouse, Morres and Morris. Among the recordings in Yorkshire are the marriage of Edmundus Moorhouse and Alician Wortle on November 25th 1565 at Kirkburton, and the christening of Jonathan, son of Thomas Moorhouse, on January 30th 1684 at Pateley Bridge. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William de Morhuse, which was dated 1180, The Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Henry 11, "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. 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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