I have found 3 explanations of the meaning and origin of the Morrison name.
|From Broken Arrow Publishing - What's In a Name?|
|Morrison is an English and Scottish patronymic form of the name Morris , an English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish patronymic surname from the given name Maurice . It was introduced to the area by Billy and his conquering Normans in 1066. Maurice is taken from Latin Mauritius, and Maurice was the name borne by a number of early Christian saints. Variations are Morriss, Morrish, Morrice, Maurice, Morse, Morce, Morss . Cognate forms include Maurice, Mauris, Maurisse, Maurize, Morice, Morisse, Morize, Meurice, Meurise (French); Maurizio, Maurizzi, Maurici, Maurigi (Italian); Mauricio (Portugal); Moriz, Moritz (German); Meuris, Risse (Flemish/Dutch); Moricz (Hungarian). Other patronymic forms are McMorris, MacMuiris, McVarish, Mac Mhuiris, McMorris, Fitzmorris, Moritzer, Moritzen, Morissen, Mouritsen, Mouritzen, Mauritzen .|
|From The Clan Morrison Page, History of the Morrison Name:|
|Eight centuries ago a Norse ship struggled
in heavy seas off the Scottish island of Lewis. A proud Kintyre noblewoman named Lauon
stood on the deck cradling her new-born infant son, Gillemorrie, in her arms while her
husband, Olaf the Black, shouted orders to the crew. Despite his Herculean efforts the
ship foundered. Olaf, Lauon and their son plunged into the frigid waters and clung to a
piece of driftwood floating near their sinking vessel. Fortune smiled upon the stoic trio,
and they were deposited safe but wet upon the stony Lewis shore.
Lauron married Olaf in 1214 and bore him one child (Gillemorrie). The fact that she was a cousin german to Olaf's first wife was unacceptable to the church. Bishop Reginald of the Isles declared their relationship incestuous and nullified the marriage, thereby rendering her son illegitimate in the eyes of the church.
Gillemorrie, upon achieving manhood, married the last heiress of the Igaa (also known as as the Clan Gow). She held the stronghold of Pabbay Castle near Harris as her birthright. It was from this union that the Clan Morrison sprang. The strong influence of the Celt and the Norse forged the clan into a gaelic clan of the Hebridies. Two distinct branches evolved; the Morrisons of Harris and the Morrisons of Lewis. The Morrison of Lewis established a Dun or fortress named Dun Eistein on the northern tip of the island. The Lewis Morrisons gave rise to ten generations of brieves (hereditary judges) which held sway over the outer Hebridean islands until 1613. This branch of the family vanished from the pages of history following the issuance of "Letters of Fire and Sword" on August 28, 1616.
In 1226 Olaf the Black became King of Man and the Isles. His third wife Christiana (daughter of Ferquhar, Earl of Ross), gave birth to Leod, the progenitor of the Clan Macleod. The Morrisons of Harris became the hereditary armourers of the MacLeods.
|From The Gathering of the Clans:|
|The Chlann Mhic-Ghille-Mhuire, meaning "Devotee of St. Mary" or Morrison clan is said to be Scandinavian in origin, supposedly descending from the natural son of the King of Norway who was shipwrecked of the shores of Lewis. This is the Morrison clan whereas the Morrisons of the Central Highlands, "sons of Maurice", and the Morrisons who descend from the O'Muirgheasain bards from Ireland who settled in Harris have no connection with the Hebridean clan of Lewis. The Morrison chiefs once held the hereditary office of Brilheanh, brieve or judgement, under the Macleods from whom they held Habost in north Lewis. The first recorded Morrison is Uisdean of Hugh who lived in the 16th century, a contempory of the last Macleod of Lewis, Roderick, who was chief till about 1595. He is said to have incurred their wrath when he betrayed Torquil Dubh Macleod, who was beheaded by the Mackenzies in 1597. The Morrisons consequently had to seek refuge on the mainland and about sixty families of Morrisons are said to have settled in the vicinity of Durness in the Mackay country, accounting for the similarity of the Morrison and Mackay tartans. They lost the hereditary brieveship of Lewis in 1613 when they resisted the takeover by the Mackenzies, and by the 19th century it became impossible to even trace the line. A branch of the clan, the Morrisons in Pabbay of Harris were the hereditary smiths and armourers to the Macleods of Harris. John Morrison of this family was a celebrated poet of the 19th century. The Morrisons of Ruchdi in North Uist are descendants of the Morrisons of Pabbay and on petition of the Lyon Court were reinvested in arms as the chiefs of Clan Morrison.|