PASE: Prosopography of Anglo-Saxon England

Domesday

[Image: Excerpt from the Domesday Book]
[Image: Durham Liber Vitae, folio 38r (extract)]

Morfari


Author: CPL
Editorial Status: unknown

Discussion of the name

Morfari has been explained as perhaps an ON name (though not one recorded in Scandinavia), originating as a byname meaning ‘traveller to Iceland’ and comparable with the Icelanders’ nickname for themselves, morlandi, which includes the word morr ‘suet’. In the Anglicized form Morfar it is recorded as a surname in thirteenth-century Yorkshire (von Feilitzen 1938: 331; Fellows Jensen 1968: 200). It occurs in DB both as Morfare, preserving something of the Norse pronunciation, and in the more Anglicized form Morfar. The fact that it was the name of more than one person suggests that it was being used as a real personal name, and not as a nickname for someone who had literally travelled to Iceland.

Alecto renders the name Morfari; Phillimore uses Morfari in Yorkshire but Morfar in Cheshire.

Bibliography

Fellows Jensen 1968: Gillian Fellows Jensen, Scandinavian Personal Names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire (Copenhagen: I Kommission hos Akademisk Forlag, 1968)

von Feilitzen 1937: Olof von Feilitzen, The Pre-Conquest Personal Names of Domesday Book, Nomina Germanica 3 (Uppsala: Almqvist and Wiksells, 1937)

Forms of the name

Spellings in Domesday Book: Morfare, Morfare

Forms in modern scholarship:

  von Feilitzen head forms: Morfari

  Phillimore edition: Morfari (Yorks.), Morfar (Cheshire)

  Alecto edition: Morfari

Distribution map of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

List of property and lordships associated with this name in DB

Holder 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Holder 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Holder 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Cheshire 26,1 Somerford Booths Morfar Morfari 'of Somerford Booths' - Hugh, earl Tezelin Somerford Booths' 0.08 0.10 0.07 - Map
Yorkshire 9W10 Halton Morfare Morfari ‘of Halton’ - Ilbert de Lacy - 6.00 1.00 0.10 - Map
Yorkshire 9W18 Snitertun Morfare Morfari ‘of Halton’ - Ilbert de Lacy - 2.00 0.75 0.00 - Map
Yorkshire 9W121 Reestones etc. Morfar Morfari ‘of Halton’ - Ilbert de Lacy Ligulf 'of Fairburn' 3.00 0.50 0.25 - Map
Yorkshire 9W124 Beeston Morfare Morfari ‘of Halton’ - Ilbert de Lacy - 3.00 1.00 0.00 - Map
Total               14.08 3.35 0.42  

Lord 1066

Shire Phil. ref. Vill Lord 1066 DB Spelling Holder 1066 Lord 1066 Tenant-in-Chief 1086 1086 subtenant Fiscal value 1066 value 1086 value Lord 1066 ID conf. Show on map
Yorkshire 9W125 Hunslet - Morfari Ilbert de Lacy - 3.00 0.00 0.00 - Map
Total               3.00 0.00 0.00  

People of this name

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