Morgan (surname)

Morgan (surname)
Family name
Region of origin Wales, Ireland, Scotland
Language(s) of origin Welsh
Related names Morganach, Ó Muireagáin

The surname Morgan has several different British origins. The Welsh surname is derived from the Old Welsh personal name Morcant, which is of an uncertain origin. The Irish surname is an amalgamation of this Welsh surname, which was brought to Ireland in the Middle Ages, and several Gaelic surnames, most notably Ó Muireagáin. The Scottish surname is of an uncertain origin. It may, however, be derived from a Gaelic cognate of the Welsh Morcant already mentioned.[1]

The surname Morgan traces its origin from the powerful Welsh family established c. 1330 by Morgan ap Llewelyn, (son of Llewelyn ap Ifor, Lord of St. Clere, and Angharad, daughter and heiress of Sir Morgan ap Maredudd (Meredith), Lord of Tredegar) and is of Welsh origin, meaning either "great kingdom" or "great hundred". It is a popular family name in Wales, as well as there being a group of Morgans from "Morgund". It is possible that the name was Celtic from the Cornovii Tribe who lived in the North of Scotland and in the Severn Valley near the Wrekin in Shropshire. The County of Glamorgan is named after the Princes of South Wales named Morgan, a group, part of which developed into the name Leyshon. The term for water sprites in Welsh is morgans.[2]

At the time of the British Census of 1881 [1], the frequency of the surname Morgan was highest in Brecknockshire (over 16 times the national average), followed by Monmouthshire, Glamorgan, Carmarthenshire, Radnorshire, Montgomeryshire, Cardiganshire, Pembrokeshire, Herefordshire and Shropshire.

Notable Morgans


  1. ^ A Dictionary of First Names. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0192800507. 
  2. ^ Tongue, Ruth L. (1970) Forgotten Folk-Tales of the English Counties Routledge & Kegan Paul, London, p. 27

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