This week I decided to do a Surname Saturday on one of my wife’s surnames, Moran.
The MORAN surname first shows up in her tree with Robert MORAN who was born in Ireland in 1820. We’re not exactly sure where in Ireland. Tracing this name into Ireland is like tracing the JOHNSON surname in America we’re told, it’s very common. I have that problem in my tree with the surname THOMPSON into the UK somewhere.
It looks like Robert first came through Canada (as did my Irish ancestors) and then made it to southwestern Wisconsin. It seems like he immigrated with his wife, Dorothea COOK, who was born in County Cork, Ireland (which may point at Robert’s origin, too.) There is no hard evidence of this information besides some online trees and family information, but it’s something to start with.
Dorothea died in 1872 and Robert re-married to Margaret ENYARD. It says Robert died on 16 Jun 1897 in Tarver, Wisconsin but I can’t find a Tarver in Wisconsin. I’m pretty sure he died somewhere in southwestern Wisconsin. It’s probably an old, unincorporated town. We have a lot of those.
She then descends from Robert and Dorothea’s son, Charles Christopher MORAN, who was born 23 Nov 1864 in Montfort, Grant Co., Wisconsin. Charles married a German, Emma Amelia DIETER in about 1889.
Her MORAN line continues down to her great-grandfather, Frederick H MORAN, who was born on 20 Feb 1891. He married Norma POWELL in 1915. After that it continues all the way down to my wife.
Wikipedia tells us about the MORAN surname [link]:
Moran (Irish: Ó Móráin) is a modern Irish surname and derived from membership of a medieval dynastic sept. The name means a descendent of Mórán, translated as Big One. Morans were a respected sept of the Uí Fiachrach dynasty in the western counties of Mayo and Sligo. In Ireland, where the name descended from the Gaelic, it is generally pronounced (phonetically) “more-in”, an anglicized approximate of the Irish pronunciation. Elsewhere, pronunciation follows the French surname, Mo rant, anglicized to (phonetically) “more-anne”.
Surprisingly, the top countries with the Moran surname are Ireland (obviously) followed by Spain, Argentina, and Australia according to the World Names Profiler.