This unusual and interesting surname is of Spanish origin, and is a topographical name for someone who lived by a blackberry or mulberry bush. The derivation is from the Spanish "mora", mulberry, blackberry, from the Latin "morum". There are several places named with this word, and the surname may also be locational from any of these. Topographical surnames were among the earliest created, since both natural and man-made features in the landscape provided easily recognisable distinguishing names in the small communities of the Middle Ages, and locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor. On October 14th 1596, Thomas Gonzales, son of Gasper Morales and Ana Gonzales, was christened in Cadiz, Spain. A Coat of Arms granted to the Morales families of Castille and Catalogne is a shield divided quarterly with a green mulberry tree on a terras of the same colour in the first and fourth gold quarters, and three black horizontal bars in the second and third silver quarters. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Francisco de Morales, which was dated October 29th 1570, witness at a christening at Nuestra Senora La Antigue, Valladolid, Italy, during the reign of King Philip 11 of Spain, 1556 - 1598. 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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