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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Az. a griffin segreant or.
2) Sa. a lion pass. guard. in chief or, in base a leopard’s face jessant-de-lis of the last. Crest—A ship in full sail ppr.
3) (co. Kent). Gu. on three bars nebulee ar. ten martlets sa. four, four, and two.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Moreland Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Surname Name Meaning, Origin, and Etymology
This is an English/Scottish habitational or locational last name given to a person who resides in one of several places so named in the Border regions between the two countries. According to George Fraser Black’s 1946 book titled “The Surnames of Scotland”, there are locales bearing this name in Scotland: Moreland, Kincorss, Moorland in Gretna, and Morland in Skelmorlie. As to the etymology, it derives from the Old English word mor (marsh/moo/fen) and land (land). The family was first documented in Westmoreland and Cumberland where they became ancient Lords of Moland or Morthland.

The book A Topographic Dictionary of England, by Lewis Samuel, published in 1848 states the following in regard to this last name: “This was an ancient demesne of the crown, and is styled in Domesday Book Ughetorp; the Mauley became lords here at an early period, and from them the manor and estate descended by marriage to the Bigods, and afterwars to the Ratcliffes, by whom the whole was sold parcels”.

Spelling Variations
Common spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Morlin, Morling, Merlin, Marlet, Morlan,Mereland, Morland, Moorland,Moreleand, Morelland, Morelande, and Mooreland. The name is also contained within the surname Westmoreland(er) (a lastname borne by a famous United States General during the Vietnam War).

Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name ranks Moreland ranks 1,921st in popularity in terms in the United Status as of the 2000 Census.  The name ranks particularly high in the following five states: West Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, Georgia, and Ohio. The surname is less common in England, where it ranks 5,880th. It ranks highest in the following counties:  Lancashire, Durham, Cumberland, and Westmorland. The name is common throughout the English speaking world:  Scotland (2,440th), Wales (4,105th), Ireland (8,504th), Canada (7,244th), New Zealand (3,848th), Australia (5,485th), and South Africa (14,184th).

Early Bearers of the Surname
The first known bearer of this last name was Henry atte Morlonde who was documented in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296 AD. A one William de Moreland was documented in the Tax Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire in 1327 AD. Edith de la Morland who was documented in the Studies of the Middle English Local Surnames as living in county Somerset in 1357 AD.

History, Genealogy, and Ancestry
The famous genealogist Bernard Burke’s book “The Landed Gentry” discusses one branchs of this family: Moreland of The Court Lodge. It begins with a mention of William Courtenary Morland, Esquire of the Court Lodge, Lamberhurst, Kent, who was Justice of the Peace and Deputy Lieutenant, as well as High Sheriff for Sussex in 1876. He was born in 1818 and in 1843 he married Margaretta Eliza, daughter of General (Unknown) William Cator, and had issue with her: Charles William (1849, 71st Regiment, Justice of the Peace for Kent and Sussex), Henry Courtenay (born 1835, Lieutenant of 54th Lancers), and Caroline Margaretta Penelope (born 1852). Burke traces the lineage back to Edward Morland, or Morland, Westmorland who had issue, including John Morland born in 1562. John’s eldest son was William Morland who was born in 1590. In 1620, William married Elizabreh Holme, and had children with her including a son named John. John was of Millflat-Morland, was a Captain in the army, and married Elizabeth Robinson. He had two sons with her: Thomas and Jacob (of Capplethwaite Hall, married Rebecca Chancellor). The elder son Thomas was born in 1649 and he had a son named William. This William Morland, Esquire of Morland and Court Lodge in Kent, married Ellen, daughter and co-heir of Sir Thomas Johnson of Liverpool. He had three daughters with her: Elizabeth (married Thomas Hutton), Mary (married Robert Bagshaw and later Richard Gildart) and Ellen (married Francis Dildart). His son and heir was Thomas. Thomas was born in 1734 and married Anne, daughter and co-heir of William Matson, Esquire of Titeup, in Furness, county Lancaster, and had issue with her: William Alexander (married Lydia Catherine Mattiott), Reverend Henry, Charles (Rector of Horsmonden), Anna Ellen (married John Smith, Baronet of Sydling), Margaret (married Thomas Austen of Kippington), and Eliza (married Sit Charles Francis Farnaby). He died in 1784 and was succeeded by his son Charles. Charles Morland was a Colonel in the Army, Aide-de-Camp to the King and was born in 1775. In 1812, he married Caroline Eustatia, daughter of William, 8th Earl of Devon) and had a son with her named William (mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph). The Morland Coat of Arms or Morland Family Crest is blazoned in heraldry as follows: Azure, a griffin sergeant or, quartering Matson, Courtenay, and Rivers.

Court Lodge

Court Lodge
Source: courtlodgeestate.wordpress.com

Henry Courtenay Morland

Henry Courtenay Morland
Source: courtlodgeestate.wordpress.com

Thomas Moreland Sr. was born in England in 1602. He had two sons: Thomas Jr. and John. He came to the New World and died in Virginia in 1663. His son John was born in 1654 in York County, VA and he married Ann Bell, with whom he had numerous issue: Thomas, Francis, Francis Sr., Jane (Faircloth), Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Edward, Francis, Matthew, Edward, Jane, John Jr., John, Edward, Thomas, Jane, Matthew, Mary, and Mary.  Francis Moreland Sr. was born in 1680 in Dinwiddie, Virginia. He married Ann Hubbard and later a woman named Mary and had a son. His son, Francis Thomas Moreland, was born in 1735 in Guildford, North Carolina. He married Elizabeth Phoebe Tucker and had the following issue with her: Lucretia, Mary, Phebe, Joseph Thomas, John, Francis, Robert, and Wood. His son Joseph Thomas was born in 1754 and he married Martha Nancy Turner and had four children with her: Phoebe, Nancy, Isaac, and Turner. His son Isaac William was born in 1772 and he married Nancy Turner and later Lucy Hunt, having the following issue: Amelia Hollandberry, Martha, Mary Bosanquet, Sarah, Susan Turner, Nancy Steinbach, Joseph Tucker, Elizabeth Tucker (Hightower), Isaac Newton, Jane Briden, and William Fletcher. His son Joseph Tucker was born in 1798 in Georgia and he married Martha A. Tripp, with whom he had the following children: Sarah Jane, William, Thomas C., Isaac W., James Wesley Moreland, Turner Hunt, Martha Ann, Joseph Benson, and Nancy Standback. His son James Wesley Moreland was born in 1822 in Putnam, Georgia. He married Elizabeth Ann Witherspoon and had the following issue with her: C.F. Moreland, Charles Wesley Moreland, Martha Jane Mattie Moreland, Alfredonia Albama Moreland, and Ira Bella (Langston). He died in 1892 in Homer, Louisiana.

Sir Samuel Morland

Sir Samuel Morland, 1st Baronet (1625-1695)

A one Reverend Thomas Morland was born before 1603 and he had a son named Samuel. Sir Samuel Moreland was born in 1625 in Sulmastead, Berkshire. He became the first Baronet Morland in 1660 and had a diverse career: he as a diplomat, spy, inventory, and mathematician.

Early American and New World Settlers
Thomas Moreland, age 19, came to Virginia as a servan (to John Hany)t aboard the Abigall in 1621 AD. Other early colonial Americans include Christopher (Maryland 1637), Dormett (Virginia 1652), Edward or Edwin (Virginia 1663), Bartlet (Virginia 1702), and others. One of the earliest settlers in Canada with this name was Benjamin Moreland, who aboard the Sarah (from Belfast Ireland) in 1833 and landed in Saint John, New Brunswick. In New Zealand, John and Margaret came to Auckland, New Zealand aboard the Santon in 1870. In Australia, a one Benjamin Moreland came to Adelaide aboard the Caspar in 1849.

The Moreland family motto is Bear and forebear. I have been unable to identify any other mottoes for this surname.

We have 3 coats of arms for the Moreland surname depicted here. These 3 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore a Moreland Coat of Arms or Moreland Family Crest include:
1) Morland after Bernard, Member of Parliament of Nether Winchendon, Bucks, [1811]
2) Morland, of Court Lodge, in Lamberhurst, co. Kent.
3) Morland, wife of Bernard. Match and quartering, Leving, [1788]

Jack Wade Moreland

Jack Wade Moreland, played in the NBA for the Detriot Pistons (1938-1971)

Famous people with this last name include: 1) Whitt Lloyd Moreland (1930-1051) who was an United States Marine and hero who sacrified his life for his fellow Marines by smothering a hand grenade with his body during the Korean War and received the Medal of Honor, 2) Mantan Moreland (1902-1973) who was an American actor and comedian from Louisiana, 3) James Porter Moreland (1948) who is an American theologian, philosopher, and Christian Apologist associated with the Talbot School at Biola University, 4) Peggy Moreland (also known as Peggy Morse or Bozeman) who is an American author of romance novels, 5) Sherman Moreland (1868-1951) who was an American lawyer/politician from New York and the Philippines, and 6) Prentice Moreland (1925-1988) who was an American R&B and doo wop singer of the 1950s and later.

Moreland Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Moreland blazon are the griffin, lion passant, leopard’s face jessant-de-lis and bars nebulee. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, azure and sable .

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 1. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 2. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 3.

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 4. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 5.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 6. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 7. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 8.

In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures 9 came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The griffin is perhaps the most common of these creatures, being a chimera with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle. 10. It is most often in the pose known as rampant segreant, on its hind legs with claws and wings extended. Vinycomb has much to say on the subject of the griffin, perhaps summarised in his belief that it represents “strength and vigilance”.]11

There can be no animal more clearly associated with Heraldry than the lion, majestic King of the Beasts. Originally it appeared only in one pose, erect, on one paw, with the others raised 12 but such was the popularity of this figure, and the need to distinguish arms from each other, that it soon came to be shown in an enormous range of forms 13. The lion passant is an example of these modified form, showing the creature on all fours, as if walking proudly. In common with all reprensentations of the lion it can be taken to be an “emblem of deathless courage”. 14

The singular device, known as the leopard’s face jessant-de-lys is striking, if perhaps a little gruesome. It is believed that this began as a face decorated with a fleur-de-lys but eventually came to be represented as a face with lower part of the symbol coming from the mouth and the upper part behind the head 15. The Wade quotes a story from Newton (“Display of Heraldry”) to suggest that it was a symbol conferred by Edward III to recognised victory in his French campaigns – the English Lion swallowing the French Lily! 16

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Renita Woods commented on 18-May-2018
I am inquiring about the name of Moreland this was my great grand fathers name Scottish as it is in name who did he end up in Homer Louisiana not sure of his first name but my grandma name was Elizabeth Moreland pass away in 1936 When my mother 13 she is now94 my grandma was6” y’all she married high Dansby can u help me with this. Thanks Renita Woodd


  • 1 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 2 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 3 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 9 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P164
  • 10 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Griffin
  • 11 Fictitious & Symbolic Creatures…in British Heraldry, J. Vinycomb, Chapman & Hall, London, 1906, P150
  • 12 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 64
  • 13 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P136-141
  • 14 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P61
  • 15 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P275
  • 16 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P65