Recorded in many spellings as shown below, this is an English surname but probably of pre 10th century Norman-French origins. It derives from the famous personal name Maurice, itself a developed form of the Roman (Latin) Maurus. Translating literally as "The Moor", it was originally a semi-descriptive nickname for one of dark or swarthy appearance, as may have applied to a person from Morocco. The spelling forms in the British Isles and other English speaking countries include Fitzmaurice, Morris, Morreys, Morrice, Muress, Muris, and others.The latter two are believed to be Huguenot forms, and may be associated with the interesting recording as shown. This was Pierre Maurois, and dated September 7th 1623, when he was a christening witness at the French Church, Threadneedle Street, city of London, Marie Muress who was christened at St Botolphs Bishogate, on April 16th 1654, and that of John Mures, at St Nicholas Deptford, Kent, on April 14th 1801. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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