Morrow (surname)

This article is about the name Morrow. For other uses, see Morrow.
Family name
Meaning "Sea Warrior"
Region of origin Ireland, Scotland
Language(s) of origin Gaelic
Related names Mac Muireadhaigh, Kinsella, Kavanagh, Murray, Murchison, Moro, MacMorrow, Murphy, Murrow, Morrowson, MacMurrough, O'Morchoe, Mac Murchadha,
Clan affiliations Clan Moroghoe, Clan Murray

Morrow is a surname of Gaelic origins and most sources (such as Mr. Lower, Mr. Charnock, Dr. J. T. Morrow, Mr. O'Hart, Mr. Mac Giolla Domhnaigh and Rev. Woulfe) give it as either Irish or Scottish, and many people with the surname are also described as Scotch or Scotch-Irish.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7]


There are three recorded origins for the name Morrow in Scotland, the first is from Lochalsh where the name comes from Murchadha and is akin to the minor clan Murchison and in Lochalsh the name has taken the form, Morrow, Morrowson and MacMorrow.[8] The second is in Moray, where the name comes from the Gaelic word moireach meaning a settlement by the sea and variations include Morow, Murrow and Morreue (the latter being found on the Ragman Rolls of 1296).[9][10] This branch of the name are considered a sept of the Clan Murray, however many Murrays were said to have pronounced their name as Morrow and this branch was mostly found in Lanarkshire, Selkirkshire and Morayshire and this was the family that the 14th century architect John Morrow was from.[11] The third origin is from Ayrshire and Galloway and comes from the Gaelic name Muireadhaigh. It was anglicised MacMorrow, MacMurray, Murrow and Morrow. Many Scottish Morrows emigrated to Ireland in the early 17th century, first during the Hamilton-Montgomery settlement when they came from Ayrshire and Lanarkshire and settled Down and Antrim and then during the Ulster Plantation when they mostly settled in Donegal and Armagh. A number of Scottish Morrows who served in the Covenanter army were transported to Virginia after being captured by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. David Dobson and Dr. J. T. Morrow also state that other Scottish and Irish Morrows were to be found in early colonial Virginia. Notables descended from Scottish Morrows include Thomas Z. Morrow and his son Edwin P. Morrow.

Notable Scottish Morrows:

Irish & Scotch-Irish

The Irish origin comes from "Murchadh" (muir and cath) meaning "Sea Battle" or "Sea Warrior", which anglicised as Morrogh, Murrow, Moroghoe and Morrow. There are three distinct Irish origins for Morrow. The first and most well-known is from Wexford and Cork where the name has been recorded variously as O'Morrow, McMarrowe, Morrogh, Murrow and Morrow which were recorded in Petty's census of 1659. and all stem from the Gaelic name MacMurchadha. The second is from Leitrim where they come from MacMuireadhaigh and this name has been made MacMurray, MacMorrow, Murray and Morrow. The third is from Fermanagh where they are said to be a branch of MacGuire. Many Morrows in Ireland, especially in Ulster, will be descended from the Scottish branch of the name due to the Plantation of Ulster during the 17th century. These Scotch-Irish Morrows would join the emigration from the north of Ireland to the American colonies in the early 18th century, and their descendants include Maj. Samuel Morrow, Jeremiah Morrow and Dwight Morrow.

Notable Irish Morrows,

People with the surname "Morrow"

Fictional characters with the surname "Morrow"


  1. The Morrows and Related Families, Dr. J. T. Morrow
  2. Irish Pedigrees, John O'Hart
  3. Some Anglicised surnames in Ireland, Padraig Mac Giolla Domhnaigh
  4. The Scotch-Irish in America, Henry Ford Jones
  5. The Scot in Ulster. Sketch of the history of the Scottish population of Ulster (1888), John Harrison
  6. In memoriam, John Morrow Cochran, Jere Morrow Cochran
  7. Edwin P. Morrow--Kentuckian: A Contemporaneous Biographical Sketch, Willard Rouse Jillson
  8. Some Anglicised surnames in Ireland, Padraig Mac Giolla Domhnaigh
  10. Ludus Patronymicus, Richard Stephen Charnock
  11. A Scots Mediaeval Architect (1895), P. MacGregor Chalmers
  12. Acts of the Lords of Council in Civil Causes 1478-1495, p. 61
  13. A History of the Siege of Londonderry and Defence of Enniskillen, in 1688 and 1689, Rev. John Graham
  14. Illustrations, historical and genealogical, of King James's Irish army list 1689, John D'Alton
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