A genealogy is the compilation of thousands of records, sometimes conflicting, from hundreds of sources located in tens of locations and the results of thousands of hours of frustration briefly interrupted by moments of ecstasy.
This genealogy had been fifty years in the making. Over the years, the search has been dormant for long periods while other priorities of life prevailed. This site is devoted to the Murrant genealogy and compiles a very brief summary of the yet unpublished book Murrants Clan and Kith.
Thomas Murrant was the first Murrant to take up residence in Canada and this genealogy begins with him. He was a legendary figure that came to Canada in the early nineteenth century and settled in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. In the course of my search for Thomas' origins, I have compiled records from various parts of the world especially the UK and Australia. As a result, I have an extensive record of the Murrants in those countries that has become a reference source for other researchers. These records will be contained within the UK and Australian sections of this site. (future)
In the course of the research for this history, I have searched to no avail to determine the origin of Thomas (Senior) Murrant. I would like to believe certain legends, however, I've been unable to fully corroborate them. As technology advances, however, databases will grow, data will be consolidated, searching will become easier, painstaking months of research will be reduced to minutes and I know, that someone will uncover a clue or a record to Thomas’s past and his ancestors. In the meantime, the quest continues.
All of the sources for the information contained herein have been recorded and most information has been second sourced.
The names MURRANT, MORAND, MORANT, and MURENT are all derived of the same base. Most of the earliest references are found in the UNITED KINGDOM. The name was most likely a nickname, not one established by trade, profession or location of residence. In eleventh century ENGLAND it was not common to retain a name from one generation to another. It was also not practice to have more than one name and a surname with no Christian name was very likely the norm. It was also quite likely that large segments of society passed their life with no name. Most peasants for example had no call to be identified by other than kinfolk and held no more than a name by which they were known to their friends and next of kin. The upper classes were more likely to be given names as it was important to identify them. In the twelfth and thirteenth century however, it became practice to retain the name of the parentage. Example of this is MORANT filius ERNIS, record of which is found the FEET OF FINES in NORFOLK, ENGLAND in 1195, literally this translates ERNIS son of MORANT. The base name (MURRANT, MORANT, MORAND) could be old French MORAN or MORANT. It may also be old German MODRANNUS. It is most probably, however a nickname derived and aphetic of old French demorant (demeurant), the present participle of demeurer meaning to reside, residing or staying. The name could have been given to a stranger who came and stayed.
The following references are found in early records in England. This information was extracted from the "DICTIONARY OF BRITISH SURNAMES" by P. H. REANEY library No.C82505.
*MORANDUS de Kerkebi - Pipe Rolls of YORKSHIRE dated 1176 ."MORANDUS of the locality of Kerkebi".
*MORANT filius ERNIS - Feet of Fines of NORFOLK, 1198.
*MORANT LOMNARD -The. Assise Rolls of KENT, l3l7.
*HUGO LE DEMURANT Pipe Rolls of KENT, 1192
*RICHARD MORANT Pipe Rolls of DERYSHIRE,1200
*WILLIAM MORAND 12th. From the F.N.STENTON documents "Illustrative of social and economic history of the DANELAW", London 1920.
WILLIAM MORANT (MORAND) Curia Regis Rolls of SUSSEX 1210-1211
*JONN THOMAS LE MORANT Coram Rege Rolls of 1297 and fete of fines of Suffolk, 1320.
*MARGERY DEMORAUNT Pole Tax Returns of YORKSHIRE 1379
From the "Dictionaire La Nobless Francais" there appear the names "MORAND" and "MORANT" with a description of their stations.
From the book "Norman People", the following appears "MORANT Oliver Ralph William of Normandy -1180 - 1195".
An interesting sidebar
There is a story of one "Breaker Morant" who was sacrificed for political interests by the British in South Africa during the Boer War. A movie was produced called
“ Breaker Morant” which became quite popular in Europe. The story is based upon the demise of an individual from the UK whose name was Edwin Henry Murrant; he modified it to Morant to escape prosecution or maybe persecution. He was nicknamed "breaker" for his expert ability with horses. The movie is still available on the movie shelves and many web pages have been devoted to his and his wife’s legend in Australia.
Certain information pertaining to individuals born in the last ninety years has or should have been suppressed from this genealogy. In time, I endeavour to display other elements like Australian and British branches. At the moment, two descendancies are provided, those of Aurelia (Payne) Murrant and Catherine (Sutherland ) Murrant. Many of the descendants born within the last 30 years are missing; if you have any information pertaining , I would very much appreciate your input as this is very much a work in process.