Morrow (surname)

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Family name
Morrow Crest.png
Meaning "Sea Warrior"
Region of origin Ireland, Scotland
Language(s) of origin Gaelic
Related names MacMuireadhaigh, Kinsella, Kavanagh, Murray, Moray, Murchison, Moro, MacMorrow, Murphy, Murrow, Morrowson, MacMurrough, O'Morchoe, MacMurchadha, Murdo, McMurdo, Murdoch
Clan affiliations Clan Moroghoe, Clan Murray

Morrow is a surname of Gaelic origins and most people with the surname are described as (or said to be descended from) Irish, Scotch or Scotch-Irish people.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]


There are three recorded origins for the name Morrow in Scotland, the first is from Lochalsh where the name comes from Murchadha and is akin to the minor clan Murchison and in Lochalsh the name has taken the form, Morrow, Morrowson and MacMorrow.[9] The second is in Moray, where the name comes from the Gaelic name Moireach or Moireabh meaning "a sea farer" or "a settlement by the sea" respectively and variations include Morow, Murrow and Morrewe (the latter being first found on the Ragman Rolls of 1291 and 1296).[10][11] This branch was mostly found in Banffshire and Morayshire and this was the family that the 14th century architect John Morrow was from.[12] The third origin is from Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire and Stirlingshire and comes from the Gaelic name Muireadhaigh. It was anglicised MacMorrow, MacMurray, Murrow and Morrow. Many Scottish Morrows emigrated to Ireland in the early 17th century, first during the Hamilton-Montgomery settlement when they came from Ayrshire and Lanarkshire and settled Down and Antrim and then during the Ulster Plantation when they mostly settled in Donegal and Armagh. A number of Scottish Morrows who served in the Covenanter army were transported to Virginia after being captured by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. David Dobson and Dr. J. T. Morrow also state that other Scottish and Irish Morrows were to be found in early colonial Virginia. Notables descended from Scottish Morrows include Thomas Z. Morrow and his son Edwin P. Morrow.

Notable Scottish Morrows:

  • Andrew MacMorrow of Wigtown[13]
  • Hugh Morrow of Moray (Hugo Morreue de Morref)
  • John Morrow, a follower of Robert the Bruce who was imprisoned in the Tower of London in 1333
  • Thomas Morrow, Abbot of Paisley 1418-1444
  • David Morrow, a Scotsman from Ayrshire who settled in Killyleagh, Co. Down in 1606
  • Duncan Morrow, witness to the ordination of Patrick Macdowell in 1503 in Stirling

Irish & Scotch-Irish[edit]

The Irish origin comes from "Murchadh" (muir and cath) meaning "Sea Battle" or "Sea Warrior", which anglicised as Morrogh, Murrow, Moroghoe and Morrow. There are three distinct Irish origins for Morrow. The first and most well-known is from Wexford and Cork where the name has been recorded variously as O'Morrow, McMarrowe, Morrogh, Morrowe and Morrow which were recorded in Petty's census of 1659 and all stem from the Gaelic names MacMurchadha and Ó Murchadha. It is also found here spelt Morwe and McMorwe in old documents pertaining to the family. The second is from Leitrim where they come from MacMuireadhaigh and this name has been made MacMurray, MacMorrow, Murray and Morrow. The third is from Fermanagh where they are said to be a branch of MacGuire.

Many Irish Morrows, especially in Ulster, will be descended from the Scottish branch of the name due to the Plantation of Ulster during the 17th century. These "Scotch-Irish" Morrows would join the emigration from the north of Ireland to the American colonies in the early 18th century, and their descendants include Major Samuel Morrow, Jeremiah Morrow and Dwight Morrow.

Notable Irish Morrows,

  • Jeremiah Morrow, grandfather of Jeremiah Morrow, governor of Ohio
  • Adam Morrow, one of the "defenders of Derry", who signed a petition to William of Orange after the siege of Derry had been lifted in 1689
  • Joseph Morrow, a soldier in the Continental Army from South Carolina who was born in Ireland in 1760
  • John Morrow, a Presbyterian United Irishman who was exiled from Ireland due to his participation in the rebellion of 1798
  • Captain Francis Morrow, an Irish officer in the Jacobite army of King James II[14]
  • Andrew Morrow of Cork (also spelt Morrogh)[15]

People with the surname "Morrow"[edit]

Fictional characters with the surname "Morrow"[edit]


  1. ^ The Morrows and Related Families, Dr. J. T. Morrow
  2. ^ Irish Pedigrees, John O'Hart
  3. ^ Some Anglicised surnames in Ireland, Padraig Mac Giolla Domhnaigh
  4. ^ The Scotch-Irish in America, Henry Ford Jones
  5. ^ The Scot in Ulster. Sketch of the history of the Scottish population of Ulster (1888), John Harrison
  6. ^ In memoriam, John Morrow Cochran, Jere Morrow Cochran
  7. ^ Edwin P. Morrow--Kentuckian: A Contemporaneous Biographical Sketch, Willard Rouse Jillson
  8. ^ Dictionary of Surnames (1994), Patrick Hanks and Flavia Hodges
  9. ^ Some Anglicised surnames in Ireland, Padraig Mac Giolla Domhnaigh
  10. ^
  11. ^ Ludus Patronymicus, Richard Stephen Charnock
  12. ^ A Scots Mediaeval Architect (1895), P. MacGregor Chalmers
  13. ^ Acts of the Lords of Council in Civil Causes 1478-1495, p. 61
  14. ^ A History of the Siege of Londonderry and Defence of Enniskillen, in 1688 and 1689, Rev. John Graham
  15. ^ Illustrations, historical and genealogical, of King James's Irish army list 1689, John D'Alton