This is a French-Huguenot metonymic surname. Recorded in England in the spellings of Mourge, Mourgue, and Morge, the name derives from the Old French pre 10th century 'Moine', meaning a monk. 'Morgue' is a dialectal spelling principally from the district of France called 'Midi'. It may have literally described a monk, but as monks were supposed to be celibate it was almost certainly a nickname for somebody who was very religious (monkish), or perhaps the reverse! The name has no apparent recorded link with a morgue (mortuary), unless it was that monks worked in such places and there was an implied transferred meaning. The surname was introduced into England at the end of the 17th century. This followed the repression of the Protestants by (in particular), King Louis X1V of France, after he repealed the Edict of Nantes in 1685. This edict had guaranteed the Protestants limited religious toleration for over a century. As a result an estimated half a million refugees left France, the majority coming to the British Isles. Early examples of the surname recording are all found in the special french churches erected by public subscription mainly in the London area. These examples include Jean Morgue, at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, London, on October 21st 1705, Dennis Morgue on June 22nd 1729, at St Pauls church, Covent Garden, London, and John Morge, christened at St Stephens church, Coleman Street, London, on July 24th 1814. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Anne Mourge, which was dated January 17th 1703, christened at Threadneedle Street, London, during the reign of Queen Anne of England, reigned from 1702 - 1714. 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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