Mur, Muro, Muros, and the diminutives Muriel and Murillo are medieval Spanish and Catalonian locational surnames. They described a person who lived by and possibly owned a fortified place. These were probably originally Roman forts as the derivation is from the Latin word 'murus' meaning wall. There are several places in Spain called Mur, Murat, Muret and Muro, and these will probably all have provided name holders. The surname in its different spellings was also recorded in France, Germany and Austria, and coats of arms were granted from these countries as well as the Iberian Peninsular of Spain and Portugal. Locational surnames are amongst the most popular of the genre, either because the name carrier was a landowner or because other people might think he was! Certainly it was the popular practice in medieval times to call people after the place from where they came, and thus identify them. Reading and writing being a skill beyond most people anywhere in the world until at least the19th century, Mur, Muro etc was easier than most surnames to remember. Spanish record keeping tended to be erratic and was badly damaged by the Spanish Civil War of 1937 - 1939, when many churches with their registers were destroyed. From the survivors we have examples such as Juliana de Muros, who married Pedro Robledo Vico at Otura, Granada, on July 24th 1687, whilst earlier in the 16th century on the 1st of June 1598, we have the christening of Alsua Maria Muro at Piedramillera, Navarra, Spain. King Phillip 11 of Spain reigned 1546 - 1598, dying in September of that year.
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