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Surname Fitzmaurice - Meaning and Origin

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Fitzmaurice: What does the surname Fitzmaurice mean?

Fitzmaurice is an Anglo-Norman surname that originated in Ireland. The word is derived from the Norman "fils de Maurice", meaning "son of Maurice". The name Maurice originates from the Latin "Mauritius", signifying a person of Moorish or North African descent, with the Fitz prefix of Norman roots indicating lineage or descent from. The name was typically given to the illegitimate son of a ruler or nobleman named Maurice. Fitzmaurice became a common surname after being adopted by various branches of the powerful Geraldines, Earls of Desmond, in the Lower Shannon area in the 14th century. The surname is widespread in Ireland, especially in the province of Munster. Notable people with the surname include Gerald Fitzmaurice, a British diplomat, and Edmond Fitzmaurice, a British politician. As is common with surnames, there can be multiple origins and meanings for the name in different societies and languages. However, the principal origin and meaning of Fitzmaurice is "son of Maurice".

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Fitzmaurice: Where does the name Fitzmaurice come from?

Fitzmaurice is an Irish surname derived from the Gaelic elements "Mac Muiris", where "Mac" means "son of" and "Muiris" is the Gaelic form of "Maurice". Therefore, Fitzmaurice roughly translates to "son of Maurice". This name originated from the Irish Kingdom of Desmond in the province of Munster in Southwestern Ireland and was associated with the ruling O’Brien clan. The name is anglicised from “Mac Muiris,” which more literally aligns with FitzMaurice.

Though the surname dispersed due to historical events like the Norman invasion, Plantation schemes, and the Great Famine, today it's common in Ireland and among the Irish diaspora worldwide. It has strong concentrations in County Kerry and other parts of Western Ireland, but it's also found in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, and Australia.

Variations of the surname Fitzmaurice

The surname Fitzmaurice is of Norman origin, first appearing in Ireland during the Norman Invasion in the 12th century. It is derived from the Norman personal name Maurice along with the prefix "Fitz-", meaning "son of". The name Maurice itself comes from the Roman "Mauritius", meaning "like a Moor".

Due to phonetic spellings and regional accents, many variants and spellings have emerged over the centuries. These include Fitzmorris, Fitzmoris, FitzMaurice, Fitz-Maurice and Fitz Maurice. Surnames of the same origin would mostly include those featuring the "Fitz-" prefix, which was widely used by the Normans to denote patronymic relationships.

Other surnames of the same origin would therefore include names such as Fitzgerald, Fitzpatrick, and Fitzhenry, amongst others. These names, whilst bearing the same Norman "Fitz-" prefix, do not necessarily imply any familial relationship to those bearing the Fitzmaurice name. The name Fitzmaurice is largely associated with the regions of Kerry and Limerick in Ireland, yet due to migration and diaspora, it can now be found worldwide.

Famous people with the name Fitzmaurice

  • George Fitzmaurice: He was a notable film director during the silent era and into the 1930s.
  • Louis Fitzmaurice: An Australian miner and explorer known as a part of the Petermann and Central Australian Expeditions.
  • Edmond Fitzmaurice: A statesman and author who served as the Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs from 1882: 1885.
  • Desmond Fitzmaurice: An Irish politician who served as a senator in the 1940s.
  • John Fitzmaurice: An Irish Bishop in the Diocese of Kerry in the late 19th century.
  • Maurice Fitzmaurice: A civil engineer known for his works on London’s infrastructure in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
  • Geraldine Fitzmaurice: A judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
  • Percy Fitzmaurice: A British Politician who served as Under-Secretary of State for India, and Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  • Raymond-Barker Fitzmaurice: A British army officer who served in both World Wars.
  • Gerald Fitzmaurice: A British Diplomat and international jurist who worked as a legal advisor to the British Foreign Office.
  • Thomas Fitzmaurice: A long-serving member of the British House of Commons.
  • Eamon Fitzmaurice: Irish Gaelic football manager and former player.

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