Select Morgan Surname Genealogy

Morgan's origin is as an anglicized form of the old Welsh name Morcant.  Some believe that the name may also have had Celtic origins, from the Celtic goddess of beauty, Morrigan. 

The Welsh county of Glamorgan took its name from Morgan Mwynfawr, the 8th century King of Gwent, and the Morgan princes of south Wales.  Glamorgan accounted for 30 percent of all Morgans in Britain in the 19th century. 

Select Morgan Resources on The Internet

Wales.  The surname traces its origin from a powerful Welsh family, descended from Cadifor Fawr, established around 1330 by Morgan ap Llewelyn who adopted Morgan as a surname. 

The Morgans of Tredegar on the outskirts of Newport date from this time.  This family was Lancastrian during the Wars of the Roses and Royalist during the English Civil War.  William Morgan returned to favor after the restoration and rebuilt Tredegar House to a grand scale.  The family owned more than 40,000 acres in Glamorgan, Monmouthshire, and Breconshire by the end of the 18th century.  

There were subsidiary branches of the Tredegar family at Llantarnam, Llanrhymney and various other places in Glamorgan and Monmouthshire:
  • Thomas Morgan of Llantarnam was involved in Catholic plot to put Mary Queen of Scots on the English throne and had to flee the country.  
  • from a cadet branch of Llanrhymney came Sir Edward Morgan, Lieutenant Governor of Jamaica in 1661, and his nephew Sir Henry Morgan, the famous Caribbean pirate who was buried in Jamaica. 
The Morgans of Tredegar became prominent again for their role in the industrialization of south Wales during the 19th century.  Tredegar itself, thanks to coal and iron ore development, became a boom town at that time.  The Morgan line continued into the 20th century with Evan Morgan, a true eccentric who kept a menagerie of animals at Tredegar House.  The line finally died out in 1951. 

.  The Morgan name in England was mainly to be found in the English border counties.  Philip Morgan, for instance, was the Welsh bishop of Worcester in 1419.  Richard Morgan, also of Welsh ancestry, represented Gloucester in the 1550’s and was briefly Chief Justice of the Common Pleas.  In more recent times, HFS (Harry) Morgan, the founder of the Morgan sports car, came from a church family in Herefordshire. 

.  Morgan (derived from the Gaelic word mor meaning “sea”) was an Aberdeen clan of the 14th century that some believe became the Strathnaver Mackay clan.  The Morgan name did subsequently spread along the east coast of Scotland.  

  The Irish Morgan name may have derived from the Gaelic O'Muireagain.  There were also Welsh Morgans who had settled in Ireland, notably the Morgans of Llantarnam in Kildare and Limerick.  Morgans in Ireland today are mainly to be found in Dublin, Cork, Clare, and north Roscommon. 

.  One early Morgan line in America came from John Dorian Morgan from Llanrhymney who came to Essex county, Virginia in 1680.   His descendants later moved to North Carolina.  

Thomas Morgan and his family settled in 1718 into what was to become Morgantown in Berks county, Pennsylvania.  James Morgan was ironmaster at the Durham furnace in Bucks county and his son Daniel became one of Washington’s generals in the Revolutionary War.  George Morgan, from another Welsh family in Pennsylvania, was an Indian agent for the Continental Congress at this time. 

Miles Morgan, born in Carmarthen, had emigrated from Bristol to Boston in 1636.  The Morgan family settled in Holyoke, Massachusetts and became wealthy and successful - first through Joseph Morgan, then through his son J.S. Morgan, and finally and most emphatically through his son, the American financier J.P. Morgan.  A later resident of Holyoke, William Morgan, invented the game of volleyball in 1895

Canada.  George Morgan, an English soldier, arrived in Nova Scotia in 1745.  His descendants later settled to farm in Annapolis county.

Morgans, mainly from Scotland, were to be found in Newfoundland from the late 1700’s.  Henry Morgan from Fife came out to Quebec in 1844 and, a year later, opened the first Morgan department store in Montreal. Store ownership remained with the Morgan family until 1960

Select Morgan Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Morgan Names

Morgan ap Llewelyn
in the 14th century was the first to adopt Morgan as a surname.
William Morgan, bishop of Llandaff, made the first translation of the Bible into Welsh in 1588.
Sir Henry Morgan was a notorious Welsh pirate on the Spanish Main in the 17th century.
Justin Morgan pioneered the Morgan horse breed in the United States in 1789.
Henry Morgan founded the first department store in Canada, Henry Morgan, in the 1860's.
John Pierpoint Morgan the American financier whose House of Morgan dominated corporate finance at the turn of the 20th century. 
HFS (Harry) Morgan founded the Morgan sports car company in 1911 and was its Chairman until 1959.
Cliff Morgan was a Welsh rugby footballer of the 1950's and later a TV rugby broadcaster.

Select Morgans Today
  • 150,000 in the UK (most numerous in Glamorgan)
  • 106,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 51,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)

Select Surname List

Adams Ellis Johnson O'Connor
Allen Evans Jones O'Sullivan Shaw
Anderson Fisher
Kelly Parker Simpson
Bailey Foster Kennedy Perry Smith
Baker Fox King Peterson Stevens
Barnes Fraser 
Lee Phillips Stewart
Bell Graham Lewis Powell Taylor
Bennett Gray Marshall Price Thomas
Brown Green Martin Reed
Griffiths Mason      
Reynolds Turner
Campbell Hall McDonald Richards
Carter Hamilton Miller  Richardson Walsh
Chapman Harris Mitchell Roberts Ward
Clark Harrison
Moore Robertson Watson
Collins Henderson Morgan Robinson White
Cook Hill Morris Rogers Williams
Cooper Howard Murphy Ross Wilson
Cox Hughes Murray Russell Wood
Davis Jackson Nelson Ryan Wright
Edwards James O'Brien 

For other surnames check the surnames2 page where there are to be found the history and genealogy for more than 800 surnames.

Return to Main Page