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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

(co. York). Az. on a chev. ar. betw. three birds of the last, beaked and legged gu. as many talbots’ heads sa. collared or.

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

Origins of Morser:
The distinguished surname Morser developed among the industrious people of Flanders, which was an important trading partner and political ally of Britain during the Middle Ages.  As a result of the frequent commercial intercourse between the Flemish and English nations, many Flemish transients settled in Britain.  In old times, people were known by only a single name.  However, as the population grew and people travelled more afield, it became frequently necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between ancestors of the same specific name.  One of the most common classes of the surname is the patronymic surname, which usually ac from the first name of the person's father.  Flemish surnames of this type often described by the diminutive suffix -k1'n, which became very frequent in England during the 14th century.  The surname Morser acquired from the Old French name Maur, which acquired from the Latin specific name Mauritius, which means Moorish or dark.  Morser is a late form of the surname.  Flemish surnames identified by a large number of spelling variations. One reason for this is that old English lacked definite spelling rules. The spellings of surnames were also determined by the official court languages, which were French and Latin.  Names were rarely spelt consistently in old times.  Authors and church officials noted names as they sounded, rather than adhering to specific spelling rules, and people often had their names registered in many different forms all over their lives.  One of the greatest reasons for the change is the linguistic uniqueness of the Flemish settlers in England, who spoke a language closely related to Dutch.  The pronunciation and spelling of Flemish names were often changed to suit the tastes of English-speaking people.  In many examples, the first, final, or middle syllables of surnames passed.  The name has spelt Mors, Morse, Mawse and much more.

More common variations are: Myorser, Moriser, Morsery, Moraser, Morhiser, Morseray, Morosery, Morsseri, Morwiser, Morisery.

The surname Morser first appeared in Gloucestershire where conjecturally being of Flemish origin they were one of the many settlers who invited into England to improve the industrial skills of the nation.

United States of America:
A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown some people bearing the name Morser like Samuel and Elizabeth Morse settled at Dedham in Massachusetts in 1635 and descended was Waldo Grant Morse of Yonkers in New York.  Joseph Morse who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635.

Morser Coat of Arms Meaning

The two main devices (symbols) in the Morser blazon are the bird and talbot. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and argent.

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 1. 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” 2.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 3. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4.

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 5. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 6.

Many breeds of dog appear in coats of arms, reflecting their status as man’s closet companion. The talbot is a hunting dog akin to a terrier, and usually illustrated in a lifelike style and eager pose. 7 In common with the other heraldic dogs, Wade suggests that their presence should suggest “courage, vigilance and loyal fidelity”. 8 Others might say we need look no further than a pleasure in the hunt and the affection for this sturdy breed.

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  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 5 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164
  • 7 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Dog
  • 8 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P68