Moran surname history

Moran is the anglicisation of a number of distinct Irish names. O Morain, from a diminutive of mor, meaning "big", (which makes the name, roughly translated, "Little Big Man") arose in Co. Mayo, near the modern town of Ballina, where the eponymous ancestor Morain held power. Another family with the same name, part of the Muintir Eolais, were based in Co. Leitrim.

O Mughrain - the origins of the name remain unclear - was also the name of two distinct Connacht families. One was a minor branch of the Ui Maine tribal grouping, based around Criffon in Co. Galway. The other were related to the O?Connors of Connacht and based near the modern village of Elphin in north Roscommon.

O Murchain, from murchadha, meaning "sea-warrior", is now generally anglicised Moran, though it has also been rendered as Morahan and Morrin. The family were originally of east Offaly, near the border with Co. Kildare.

Last but not least come the Mac Moruinn of Fermanagh, whose name is anglicised Moran, MacMoran and MacMorrinn.

With 265 births of the name in 1890, Moran was ranked 53rd most common Irish surname. Today it stands at 71st. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of Morans are of Connacht origin, with particular concentrations in always Leitrim, Mayo and Roscommon.

As might be expected the presence of these families is well recorded in the placenames of their territories, with an Ardmoran and Lismoran in Mayo, Caldrymoran in Roscommon, 2 Ballymorans in Offaly, Killormoran in Galway and Rathmoran in Fermanagh.

. One of the most famous bearers of the name was Michael Moran (1794-1856), better known by his nickname of "Zozimus", who was blinded in infancy and made his living on the streets of Dublin with his recitations and ballads. A monument to him stands in Glasnevin cemetery

Frances Moran (1893-1977) was the first Irishwoman ever to become a Senior Counsel. She was also the first woman Professor at Trinity College Dublin, and the first woman on the board of the college.

Kevin Moran (1954 - ) is the only sportsperson ever to win both All-Ireland Gaelic football medals (with Dublin in 1976 and 1977) and FA cup medals (with Manchester United in 1983 and 1985).


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