Irish Morrisons?

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D-Morrison
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Irish Morrisons?

Post by D-Morrison » Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:36 am

My name is Morrison and Edwin and I met online a few years ago. My family traces back to Armagh, Ireland in the later 18th century, but I had long assumed that my family had originated somewhere in Scotland as with my having a name such as Morrison that was a very easy assumption for me to make. But then it turned out that I am not genetically related to any of the known Scottish Morrison families.

Huh? What? But my name is Morrison!

And so that prompted a lot of Internet searching.

It turns out that there once was an O'Muirgheasain family of eastern Donegal, Ireland which is known to have eventually adopted the Morrison name following as many name spelling changes as a person has fingers. It also turns out that I and my ancestors are both genetically and historically related to the main and dominant family of that same region, the Doherty family.

Genetically, I am L21+, M222+, DF85-, R1b1a2a1a1b4b, commonly known as Northwest Irish (NWI) but is also found in Scotland, too.

It also turns out that the O'Muirgheasain family were experts with boats on the ocean and that some of them are known to have migrated to the southern and to the inner Hebrides islands, as of long, long ago, meaning that some of them could now be Scottish.

Yes, it appears that there really could be Irish Morrisons. Honestly, I had never heard of such a thing. Yet I might be one of them!

And from the Morrison website it appears that there might be some other Irish Morrisons, too.

Best regards,

Doug

At FTDNA I am member #196477

morrisondna
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Re: Irish Morrisons?

Post by morrisondna » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:40 am

Hi, Doug,

Yes, there are Irish Morrisons as well. Just as there are very many Scottish Morrisons with early Irish origins. For many centuries, the sea between Ireland and Scotland was a better way to get from one point to another than any road on the land, so there was much travel back and forth. It's no accident that Ireland and much of Scotland and the Isle of Man have shared the Gaelic language. And the distances are not so far. From the North of County Antrim, many Scottish islands and the Mull of Kintyre are clearly visible on most days. Individual buildings on Kintyre can be seen on clear days. Trains on the coast of Galloway can be seen from the beach on the Isle of Man. Sometimes we think of these areas inside out from the way they were seen over most of the last 2000 years. It was not so much islands surrounded by sea as a narrow Irish Sea surrounded by various places to put into port.

Some Gaelic families who took the name Morrison remained in Ireland. There are Fitzmaurices, Morrisseys, and Brysons who are sometimes found as Morrisons. All of these may be found in our project. And there are Scottish Morrison families who are not of Gaelic origin, but descended from Saxons or Normans, etc. These varied origins are one of the reasons we have so many different Y-DNA groups represented in our project.

Of course, today there are many Irish Morrisons of Scottish origin from Plantation times in the 1600's as well, so the migration paths go both ways. Probably most people of Scottish descent in America have a Scots-Irish ancestral line. Our DNA research as been a real help in rebuilding these family links that have been forgotten over the centuries. And there is more to come as SNP research continues this year.

I'm glad that you have made progress in placing your own line through the project.

Edwin

D-Morrison
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Re: Irish Morrisons?

Post by D-Morrison » Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:30 am

I participate on some other Internet boards, notably the FTDNA M222 and L21+ projects, and while the majority of participants there could be of Irish descent there also are quite a few of Scottish descent, too. So yes, the historic inter-migration between Ireland and Scotland is well known. And, as the good news, we all get along as one big family.

The name O'Muirgheasain (Morrison) comes from County Donegal, along the Atlantic ocean coastline, but from further to the west of there and also along the Atlantic coastline in County Sligo comes an almost identical surname, O'Muirgheasa, which today is commonly translated as Morris and Morrissey. However, although both of those names have an almost identical translation from Gaelic, meaning experts with boats on the ocean, I have no known genetic relationship to the O'Muirgheasa clann.

In the course of the Anglicization of Gaelic names, the O'Muirgheasain clann split into two different names, one eventually being Morrison and the other being Bryson or Brice, apparently for reasons having to do with a 5th century Saint Bricius. Yet that same Bryson/Brice surname can be found scattered all throughout the British Isles and much of Europe, although those various families are not genetically related.

But yeah, Edwin, I keep working at it, as this is one hell of a twisting puzzle to figure out!

morrisondna
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Re: Irish Morrisons?

Post by morrisondna » Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:27 pm

Doug,

My limited reading of Gaelic tells me that the letters "m", "b", and "v" are closely connected in Gaelic. Therefore O'Muirgheasain could become O'Morison or O'Mrison, which was then shortened to Bryson. We have two Brysons in Group N of the Morrison project, one of which probably has County Donegal origins.

Edwin

D-Morrison
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Re: Irish Morrisons?

Post by D-Morrison » Sat Feb 15, 2014 1:30 am

Edwin,

If you have even a limited reading of Gaelic then you are ahead of me. From what I have seen of beginner's Gaelic lessons, the letter that you see is not necessarily the letter that you hear.

A very long time ago, apparently at some time in maybe the 15th or 16th centuries, O'Muirgheasain split into the Bryson/Brice name but also became Anglicized, at first becoming O'Mrisane, then following no less than half a dozen other spellings became O'Morison and O'Morrison, too, before the O' got dropped in the early 1600s, but those dates are not certain. Apparently my g-g-grandfather is the first of the Morrison name (two Rs), B-U-T all of his brothers and sisters are listed as Morison (one R) and all of them are listed in the same County Armagh parish register. A surname spelling change within the SAME generation!

Irish? Scottish? Or both? That becomes a VERY tangled question. We could easily be either!

Doug

Scot1949
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Re: Irish Morrisons?

Post by Scot1949 » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:48 pm

Irish? Scottish?

I don't think that "we" should be thinking in terms of "either". Maybe it should be "both", or "we are one". As Edwin pointed out, the seaways along the western coasts of Britain were busy places for hundreds of years, linking Ireland and Scotland much more closely than we often assume. I see this wider pattern in your YDNA project family group (N) which seems to have roots on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Descending from the romance of birlinns sailing freely over the ocean to the laboratory, I also noticed that several other family groups in the YDNA project (Some in F, some in Y, most interestingly in Group O) are L21+. Group O is interesting because it is genetically "tight" and the surname is McLemore. More than once I have talked with a McLemore on games fields here in the southeast who is insistent that he is a "Morrison".

The L21 SNP is certainly an old divergence.
Bob Morrison
Raleigh,NC, USA

KenM
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Re: Irish Morrisons?

Post by KenM » Sat Dec 19, 2015 12:28 am

Doug,

We also have a family name change mid generation, the whole family was born Morris in Co, Meath, Ireland, then they migrated to Australia in 1850 under the name Morris. Richard the head of the family and two children died from typhoid contracted on board the ship. Richards wife Ann changed the family name to Morrison as the headstone and all future paperwork shows. I will contact my Gaelic speaking friend and see what he translates O'Muirgheasain to.
Richards father was Peter Morris c1770-1846 Co Meath. My mystery is where was he born and by what name??

Ken Morrison RM-222+ FTDNA 406931 Group N

morrisondna
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Re: Irish Morrisons?

Post by morrisondna » Thu Dec 24, 2015 3:01 am

Ken, being a member of the R-M222 haplogroup, you have many matches even at 67 markers. By testing downstream SNPs, you can narrow down which of these matches are actually your closest paternal relatives. Fortunately, there are two relatively inexpensive SNP Packs available to test many of the downstream SNPs in one test. FTDNA offers an M222 SNP Pack at an introductory price of $109 and YSEQ.net offers a similar DF49 Northwest Irish Panel (including M222) for $88. Either of these tests would be a good investment for you. Once you know the surnames of your closest SNP matches, you may be able to narrow down the locality where these downstream SNPs occurred and whether they are associated with any particular surname.

Edwin

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