Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is surname of French origins. It is believed to be from the verb "de morer", meaning to stay. By transposition it became a nickname given to a "stranger" to place, who then stayed, and may have been a sardonic name for a conquering Frenchman! Surnames from nicknames form one of the largest groupings within the surname listing, and it has been estimated at about 25% of all surnames were originally a nickname of some sort. This name came into use in England sometime after the famous Norman Conquest of 1066. The development since then has included recordings such as that of Richard Morant of Devonshire in 1199, William Morand of Sussex in 1211, John le Mourant of Suffolk in 1297, and Margery De Moraunt in the Poll Tax rolls of Yorkshire in 1379. The modern surname spellings include Morant, Morrant, Morand, Mourant, Murrant, Maurand and Moran, although the latter can be Irish from a different origin entirely. Philip Morant (1700 - 1770) prepared the ancient records of parliament (1278 - 1413) for printing, whilst Elizabeth Morant married William Tasker on September 1st 1789, at St. Bride's Fleet Street in the city of London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo le Demurant. This was dated 1182, in the "Pipe Rolls of Kent", during the reign of King Henry 11nd, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes 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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