This unusual surname is almost certainly of Germanic origins, although a similar surname is also recorded in France. It probably derives from the ancient pre 10th century German word "murr" meaning sour, and the earliest recordings suggest that it was locational from a village called "Murre". The village name probably referred to an area of poor ground. However there is also evidence to suggest that the name was in some instances a nickname, and as such was given to a person who was considered to have that particular characteristic! Original spellings of the surname seem to have been Murr(e), Murrhardt (strong-sour!), Murrhaupt (very sour!), and Murrthum, a sour place. Although we are not certain we believe that the later spelling as Murrum and Murram, derive from Murrthum or Murrtum. There is also a slight possibility of an unproven French origin. If this is so, the derivation may be from the medieval nickname "Muron or Morin", and the meaning is "Little fruit", a term of endearment, and possibly given originally to the son of a fruit merchant or fruit farmer. Early examples of the surname recording taken from authentic German rolls and charters of the medieval period, include Hartmann von Murrehart of Eblingen, in the year 1361, and Johannes Murrhaupt of Eschental, in the year1555. Later exaamples include Johann Burchardt Murrtum of Neckarkreis, Wuerttemburg, on July 25th 1813, and Johan Jakob Murrthum, also of Neckarkries , on November 10th 1838. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of Ulrich der Murre, which was dated 1320, in the charters of the town of Eger, during the reign of Emperor Louis 1V of the Holy Roman (German) Empire, 1314 - 1347.
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