Depending which book you are
reading at the time there seems to be more that one or
two meanings of the surname MORAN.
1. MORAN or MURRIN is the
of two Irish names, O'Morain, and O'Mughrain who are an
ancient Connacht family of Ui Fiachrach and were located
in north of County Mayo and County Sligo. Another branch
settled in south County Galway. In latter times, the name
became changed to Moran, in Irish, O'Morain, possibly
deriving from the word mor, meaning big.
2. The Moran family is
descendant from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line
of Ir, the fifth son of that monarch. They belonged to
the Clanna Rory tribe founded by Heger Donn son of Ir.
The ancient name was Mordhan
and signifies "Noble" taken from Murchadhain, a
chief of the sept.
The chiefs of the O'Moran's
held extensive possessions in Roscommon, Mayo, Sligo and
Kerry. In Co.Roscommon they possessed the territory lying
between Balanagare and Elphin and the head of the sept -
O'Mughroin or Mora n-was, with Cathail or Cahill and
O'Maolruahaith, Mulrooney or Roony, one of the three
chief's of Crumthan or Cruffan, a district comprising the
Barony of Killian and part of Ballymoe, in Co.Galway.
The O'Moran's were
distinguished for encroachments of the Anglo-Norman
power, and when resistance was no longer possible, they
suffered the fate of other Irish septs of the place and
period in the loss of their possessions. After the close
of Williamite war in Ireland, many of them went to France
where we find their names in the list of officers in the
Irish Brigade and subsequently commands outside of that
There have been many
distinguished Morans around the world over the years:
Major-General James O'Moran
(1739-1794), who was born in the town of Elph in, Co.Roscommon
on the 1st May 1793 and was the son of a shoemaker.
He went to France where he grew up to manhood and
enlisted as a private in Dillon's Regiment, Irish
Brigade. He rose by his courage, skill and conduct to
the rank of Marechal-de-Camp or Major General in 1784,
and to that of Lieut. General in 1792.
He also for a time
administered the Government of Conde. He was honoured
with the distinction of Chevalier of the Order of St.Louis
and the American Order of Cincinnatus.
In the famous defence of
Dunkirk in 1793, when 3.000 French Army troops
successfully resisted the 35,000 English and allies
under the Duke of York, General O'Moran played a
conspicuous part. The garrison was outnumbered by
more than 10 to 1. General O\rquote Moran commanded
the rig ht-wing of the French forces. and, by his
skill and intrepidity, baffled all the attempts of
the enemy directed against him, and largely
contributed to the successful result.
This brave officer, having
through his stern sense of justice and honesty, in-curred
the enmity of some of the agitators in the French
Revolution, who were at the time insane from blood
and carnage, was seized and put to death by the
Michael Moran (1794-1871),
who was better known as "Zozimus", was
blinded in infancy and made his living on the streets
of Dublin with his recitations and ballads. A
monument to him stands in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.
Francis Patrick Cardinal Moran
- Third Archbishop
of Sydney, b. at Leighlinbridge, Ireland, 16 Sept., 1830; d, at
Manly, Sydney, 16 Aug., 1911. He was the only son of Patrick Moran
and Alice Cullen, sister of Cardinal Cullen. Of his three sisters,
two became nuns, one of them offered her life to God in care of
cholera patients whom she nursed, and died the last victim of the
plague in Ireland. Both his parents died before his eleventh year.
He left Ireland in 1842 to pursue his studies in Rome. His "Acta
Publica" in universal theology was so masterful as to gain for him
the doctorate by acclamation. Among the principal objectors was
Cardinal Joachim Pecci, afterwards Leo XIII, who was impressed by
the genius of his Irish student. He was appointed vice-rector at the
Irish College, and also filled the chair of Hebrew at Propaganda,
and was some time vice-rector of the Scotts College. In 1886 he was
appointed secretary to Cardinal Cullen, and professor of Scripture
at Clonliffe College. He founded the "Irish Ecclesiastical Record".
In 1869 he accompanied Cardinal Cullen to the Vatican Council, and
was appointed procurator for one of the absent bishops. In
1886 he travelled 2500 miles over land and sea, and visited all the
dioceses of New Zealand. In the following year he traversed 6000
miles to consecrate Dr. Gibney at Perth. In subsequent years he went
to Ballarat, Bathurst, Bendigo, Hobart, Goldburn, Lismore,
Melbourne, and Rockhampton for the consecration of their respective
cathedrals. In 1908 he revisited and dedicated the cathedral of
Auckland, and in the last year of his life he again covered 6000
miles to consecrate Dr. Clune Bishop of Perth. He consecrated
fourteen bishops, ordained nearly five hundred priests, dedicated
more than five thousand churches, and professed more than five
thousand nuns. The thirty-two charities which he founded in the city
of Sydney remain as the crowning achievement of his life.
David Patrick Moran
(1870-1936), was a founder of the influential patriotic review,
He was a Quartermaster Sergeant Major in the Irish
Army and probably served in the First World War. When
he came home on leave he would walk the town in his
uniform wearing his leggings, shoulder strap and cane.
Denis was heavily involved in the local football team
of Graiguecullen, Co/Laois in the 1930's (source:
Parish of Graiguecullen, Killeshin by P. MacSuibhne
Moran was given the Freedom of
the City of Dublin on 1 October 1888
In Killybegs, County
Donegal, an important Irish fishing port, there is a
suprising enclave of Murrin families living there.
There most famous son being Joseph "Joey"
Murrin, who for many years was a fisherman and in
1984, he became chairman of the Irish Fishing Board.
He is a spokesman both at home and abroad for this
vital Irish industry.
Other famous MORAN's around
the world who deserve a mention has to be those who
were listed as the builders of the world's largest
tall ships, in the 1850's, out of Saint John, New
Brunswick, Canada. This information comes courtesy of
Cynthia Houston (Sept 2001) who says that someone
once wrote a book about who founded the MORAN tall-ship
builders company, but Canada has no early records of
(If someone knows where a
copy of this book is located and can be viewed by the
public then please let us know of it's whereabouts.
Send info to:
Moran Brothers Shipbuilding
(The following is an
extract from Bagley, History of Seattle From the
Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, vol. 2, p.
Moran Brothers Shipbuilding
Company produced many of the vessels constructed
during the gold rush era. In early August of 1897,
the North American Transportation and Trading Company
ordered a fleet of 15 ships from this business.
"A stroll through the extensive works of Moran
Bros. discloses a veritable hive of industry,"
observed one reporter. "About 400 men are
employed and separate forces are at work day and
night." The "immediate cause" of this
activity was the Alaska trade. Gold strikes in
western Alaska at the turn of the nineteenth century
- which required ocean-going vessels that could sail
the Bering Sea - further stimulated the shipbuilding
industry in Seattle.
The following is an
extract from the
Robert Moran was born in
New York City on January 26, 1857. In 1875, at the
age of 18, he followed Horace Greeley's advice and
went west, to San Francisco. The whole nation was
economically depressed at the time, and Moran spent
his last $15 for a steerage ticket to Seattle, where
he arrived on November 17, 1875, with ten cents in
his pocket. Moran found work as a labourer, and soon
found success as a steamship engineer.
As he gained success,
Robert's older brothers Edward and Peter followed him
to the northwest. In November, 1881, Robert married
Melissa Paul. He saved enough money to bring his
mother, five younger brothers, and two sisters from
New York. In 1882, at the age of 25, Moran quit
steamboat engineering and started a marine shop with
In 1887, Robert Moran was
elected to the Seattle City Council. That next year,
Moran's name was brought up as a possible Republican
candidate for mayor and in July, 1888, Moran was
elected mayor of Seattle.
On July 6, 1889, a fire
wiped out 30 blocks of downtown Seattle, and
destroyed an area covering more than sixty acres.
Mayor Moran's actions in quickly rebuilding and
remodeling the destroyed areas inspired confidence,
and he was re-elected in July, 1889.
Over a six-month period
after the fire, the population of Seattle doubled.
Moran was responsible for the city's new municipally-owned
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- © 1999 Michael Brennan - All