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Surname Morray - Meaning and Origin

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Morray: What does the surname Morray mean?

The last name Morray is of French origin, derived from the ancient Latin personal name Maurius. In France in the Middle Age, the name was found as an hereditary name, in a time when Latin personal names were becoming popular among high classes. During this time, when people started to adopt last names to better determine family ancestry, people with Maurius as a personal name changed it to Morray.

The name Morray is a notable Anglicisation of several French surnames derived from the original Maurius, such as Morlet, Morin, Morot, Mourin, and Moraux. These were given to people who came from a town that belonged to one of the members of the family Maurius. After the 15th century, the name Morray spread rapidly across Europe.

Morray is generally a patronymic surname, and may also refer to a member of the Maurius family. In Scotland, where the first recorded use of the surname Morray dates back to the 16th century, its primary meaning is “son of Maurius”. It is also believed to be linked to the Gaelic Muurich, which translates to “sea-wide”.

Morray is today found mostly in Scotland, France, and England, but is also present in the United States, Ireland, Canada, and Australia. The name Morray is fairly uncommon and is a fairly rare surname.

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Morray: Where does the name Morray come from?

The last name Morray is common in several countries today. It is most commonly found in the United Kingdom, particularly in Scotland. It is also commonly found in the US, particularly in Northeastern states such as Connecticut and Massachusetts. It can also be found in certain other countries with some British influence, such as Australia and Canada.

The origin of the last name Morray is uncertain. It is possible that it is derived from the Scottish Gaelic ‘mor’ meaning ‘great’, or from a Norman given name which was introduced to Scotland in the 11th century. It is also possible that it is derived from an Old English personal name, ‘Maer’, which itself comes from the Latin word meaning ‘fame’ or ‘opinion’.

Today, the last name Morray is found predominantly in Scotland, with smaller numbers found elsewhere in the many countries with which Scotland has had a long history of inter-cultural exchange.

For example, the Canadian province of Quebec has a large population of Scottish and Gaelic descents, and many have adopted the last name Morray. Additionally, since the United Kingdom’s commitment to the European Union, particularly the free movement of people across internal borders, the number of people bearing the last name Morray has also grown in other European countries.

Variations of the surname Morray

The surname Morray is thought to have come from the Old French words meaning "dark complexion."

It is a common name in Europe and the United States, and variations of it have been found in countries including Scotland, Ireland, France, and even Poland.

The most common variants of this surname are Moray, Murray, Morrey, and Murrey.

In Scotland, the most common spelling is Murry while in Ireland it is commonly spelled as Murrey.

Other variants of this surname include Morrice, Morice, Macmurrough, and MacMurray.

The surname Morray has also been known to appear in other forms due to varying customs and spelling conventions of the countries where the surname is present.

In France, the spelling is often Muray or Murré, in Germany, it is Maray or Marre, in Italy, it is usually written as Marre, and in Poland, it is Morawski.

Some associated surnames of Morray include MacCormaic, MacMorrys, and MacTarmits.

In Scottish highland clan culture, the Moray surname is corrupted to Mhorrie and is associated with the MacMhorries Clan.

Other surnames that have the same origin as Morray include Moor, Moore, and Hillmorre.

It is also often confused with the more popular surnames Morris and Morrison, but these surnames have a different origin.

Famous people with the name Morray

  • Mike Morray: American actor, known for his roles in television series such as Murphy Brown, The Wayans Brothers, and Before the Dinosaurs.
  • Blake Morray: English musician, composer, and producer. Has received multiple awards and nominations for his work, including a Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist.
  • William Morray: English fashion designer, regarded as one of the leading designers of the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Edward Morray: American Jesuit priest, educator, and scholar. Founder of Georgetown University, he also helped to found other educational institutions including St. Mary’s College.
  • Stan Morray: American comedian, actor, and television writer. Best known for his roles on the Fox sitcom MADtv and his stand-up comedy tour.
  • Thomas Morray: Scottish author and illustrator. Creator of children’s books including the bestselling book series My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish and its spin-off graphic novel.
  • Simon Morray: British Olympic swimmer. Winner of the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay.
  • Helen Morray: British screenwriter and film director. Best known for her work on the Taylor Swift documentary Miss Americana.
  • David Morray: Scottish painter and sculptor. Known for his neo-expressionist abstract sculptures and radical social commentaries expressed in his paintings.
  • James Morray: Canadian actor, best known for his roles in the television series Supernatural and The Expanse as well as the film In the Shadow of the Moon.

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