Select Moran Miscellany


Here are some Moran stories
accounts over the years:


The First Morann


Morann from Connacht was recorded as the son of the 101st ruler of Ireland, Carbri Cinn Cait, at around the time of Christ.  During his father’s reign he became known as a great Brehon (lawgiver), eventually serving as the Chief Justice of Ireland.  His work was in direct contrast to his father’s brutal and harsh rule.  
Known as the Just Judge, Morann was renowned for the wisdom in his judgements.  He wore something known as the Iodhan Moran (Moran’s Collar).  It was an ornamental collar made of gold.  Chief Justices through the ages wore the collar which it was said would choke the wearer if were about to give an unjust decision.
Morann was also known in Irish history as the first to believe in a single all-powerful god, before the arrival of Christianity.  When Saint Patrick codified Irish law in about 400 AD in a work known as the Senchus Mor (The Great Law), Morann was mentioned very favorably.
However, the efforts by the Irish historian John O’Hart in his 1876 book Irish Pedigrees to link this first Morann with the Morans who became prominent in Mayo around the year 800 are considered rather fanciful today.


The Moran Presence in Connacht

Moran is an anglicized Connacht
name, with its main presence in county Mayo.
But the name has cropped up elsewhere in Connacht as well.

The Morans of
Roscommon reportedly date back to Mughron, the progenitor of five
chiefs named
O’Moghrain, who was born in 841.  They
based near the modern
village of Elphin in north Roscommon. 
Moran near Elphin was named for this family.

was also the chief at Criffon in Galway.
The Galway sept was a minor branch of Ui Maine, an ancient
group of mid Galway and south Roscommon.

Then there were the MacMoruinn of Fermanagh, whose name
was anglicised
as MacMoran and later to Moran; while an
Offaly clan, O’Murchain (sea warriors), anglicized their
name to
Morahan, Morrin and Moran.


Reader Feedback – Simon Moran in Wicklow

I am from county Wicklow and have for some time been researching the Moran families that lived around my part of Wicklow.  One of these families were the family of Simon Moran, whose son Patrick became a Catholic bishop in Cape Town and New Zealand.

Although the first record I have for Simon Moran was his marriage in Rathdrum in 1818 I have always been of the belief he was part of the Moran family that had lived in the area from at least 1750’s. He was buried in Glendalough beside an earlier generation of the local Moran family.  However, earlier this year I became aware of a reference to Simon’s father James being a Frankist Jewish Rabbi who had been living in Liverpool.

Margaret Connolly (


Jim Moran – Our Little Hero

Jim Moran was shot down during the Irish Civil War
in 1923 at the age of twenty-four.

his coffin was brought into Newport they opened it for his mother.  She mopped his brow with her handkerchief and
kept it till the day she died.  She also
asked to talk to the young soldier who shot him so she could forgive
him.  She
was proud of her family’s stand for freedom and was often heard singing
The Tricoloured Ribbon O while spinning
and weaving.

His requiem mass took place in St. Patrick’s Parish Church in
Newport, Mayo.  The Mayo News
for March 24, 1923 reported:

“His funeral to the family burial ground in
historic Burrishoole was an impressive one.
The coffin draped in the tri-colour was borne on the shoulders
of the
young men of the district.  Considering
the disturbing -times a surprisingly large number of young men marched
to the
graveside, followed by a large number of ladies carrying wreaths with
Little Hero’ written on them.  Several
rosaries were recited on the way.”

He was buried in the grave with his
grandparents Tom Timothy Moran and Honor Heverin looking out on the
river.  Neither the members of the family
or the priest who officiated were named in the Mayo News
article, a sign of the troubled times



The Thomas Moran
House on Long Island

The Thomas Moran House was the East
Hampton home
of Thomas Moran, an American painter of the Hudson River School, best
known for
his landscape paintings in the American West.

Moran’s watercolor paintings from
the 1871 first survey of Yellowstone are credited with leading to
creation of the first National Park.  His
landscape paintings of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and
others have
hung in the US Capitol building and in the Oval Office of the

The Thomas Moran House was constructed in 1884.  It was declared a National Historic
Landmark in


James Moran’s Farming
Travails in Kansas

In 1879
James Moran had decided to leave the coal mines of Pennsylvania for a
newer and
freer life on the open Kansas prairies.
Leaving the railroad at Hays City, he homesteaded with his
family in a
place two miles north of Nekoma in Brookdale township.
He had secured there a small stone house,
built in the style of a dugout with a single room and a dirt floor and

James Moran had a cash capital of perhaps $50 when he
arrived in Rush
county.  He remembered how in Ireland the
small farmers spaded up patches of ground and planted garden stuff and
determined to try the same methods in Kansas.
Nothing came of his efforts, and failing in that direction he
next hired
a man to break the sod.  Even in that he was bent on having his
own way.  He
commanded the plowman to follow him with the team and plow.  He started off and soon began to circle, and
after two days of such circle plowing the man rebelled and quit, saying
would not plow after that fashion notwithstanding he was being paid for

About that time necessity compelled him to leave his
agricultural experimenting
and he decided to resume his trade as a coal miner.  He first went
to the coal
fields of Colorado and also worked in the mines of Eastern Kansas,
several winters in that way.

Around 1885 he was able to buy some cattle.
But it was a number of years before he had
any success as a farmer. Yet in one area he
did have a conspicuous success – in the raising of chickens.  It was said he was able to get more eggs from
his chickens than anyone else in the county. This was accounted for by
reason that he gave them a meat diet of boiled jack rabbits.

In the course
of some twenty years he seemed to have reformed and adapted his methods
so as
to get crops from his land and in time he became a very successful
raiser.  By 1903 he harvested a banner


Herbert Moran
Better Known as Paddy

Herbert Moran,
better known as Paddy, grew up in Sydney and was educated at Darlington
School, St Aloysius’ College and St Joseph’s.  He studied medicine
at Sydney
University, graduating in 1907 and later acquiring a master’s degree in

He played virtually no football at school and began
seriously only when
he was shamed into it for being “slack” when a third-year medical
Within a few years he was captain of the first Wallabies rugby team to
Britain in 1908/09.  He also was a
competitor in the 1908 Olympic Games held in London.

He fought at Gallipoli
during World War One and survived.
Afterwards he wrote a book, Viewless
, about his war experience.

Moran had a notable
surgical career.  His great interest lay
in cancer research and the then new use of gamma irradiation through
the medium
of metallic radium.  In this he was far
ahead of his time.  He travelled widely,
published in journals, and studied and lectured in many parts of the


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