Recorded in several spellings including Morrison, Morrieson, Morison, and Moryson, this is an Anglo-Scottish surname, which is almost equally popular in Ireland. It is the patronymic form of the surname Maurice or Morris, deriving from the Latin "Mauritius", and meaning swarthy, from "Maurus", a Moor. The popularity of the name was due in part to the fame of St. Maurice, martyred in 286 A.D. The given name Morris was introduced into Britain by the Normans, among whom it was popular. The personal name was recorded circa 1176 when one "Mauricius de Edligtona" was mentioned in the "Social and Economic Documents of London". It first appears as a surname in England in the 14th century (see below) in England, whilst Andreas Morison, a licenciate in law at St. Andrew's in 1463, was according to the church register of Brechin, the first recorded namebearer in Scotland. Other examples of early recordings include those of Nicol Morysone of Ruchtven, Scotland, in 1501, whilst Charles Morrison (circa 1752) first suggested conveying messages by electricity, and invented the first projector of the electric telegraph. A coat of arms was granted to Sir Richard Morrison, knighted at Dublin by Robert, Earl of Essex, and Lord-Lieutenant, on August 5th 1599. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Morisson. This was dated 1379, in the Poll Tax records of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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