This most fascinating and unusual surname is of Old Gaelic origin, and is one of the Anglicized forms of the Gaelic "O'Murchain", meaning "male descendant of the sea warrior", from the Gaelic prefix "O", male descendant of, and a personal name composed of the elements "mur", sea, and "cath", warrior, battle. Traditionally, Irish family names are taken from the heads of tribes, a revered elder, or from some illustrious warrior, and are usually prefixed by "O", as above or "Mac", meaning "son of". This particular sept were originally located in East Offaly, and the name is also found in the Anglicized forms Morahan, Morrin, Moran, Morgan and Markan. In the mid 16th Century, the Anglicized form O'Moran occurs frequently in the Chancery Rolls and Fiants of Offaly and Kildare, while Morrin appears in the Census of 1659, in the same area. It is difficult to put a date on the first recorded namebearer as Irish Records are scarce and most have been destroyed. Nancy, daughter of Joseph Murkin, was christened on October 18th 1781, at St. Nicholas', Liverpool. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of John and Anne Murkin, which was dated December 17th 1704, christening witnesses at St. Mary's, Marylebone Road, London, during the reign of Queen Anne, known as "The Last Stuart Monarch", 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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