There is a legend in Austurias, Northern Spain of a knight of the family Somonte who fought with the great Visagoth King Don Pelayo. Go to this link for an understanding of the history of this time in Spain and Don Pelayo >

The fact that this legend has several versions would questions its veracity or prove there is a kernal of truth here, only the facts are in question.

One legend is that the knight, named Ruy Fernandez de Somonte who was the son of a Greek by the name of Moranto had taken refuge on Mount Auseva in the year 718 in face of the Moor/Muslim invasion. There also Don Pelayo gathered his resistance fighters in the cave at Covadonga. This knight joined with Pelayo and fought in the famous battle there. In the battle it was said that he captured an Arab Princess. He later took her into his life, married her and had children by her. These children were called Moranes or "of the Moors".

Still another version says that the Arab Princess was taken along with her mother and it was from her (the mother) the name Moran came.

Another version says that the daughter of a Spanish King was made pregnant by a Moor warrior and that the child was called Moran or "of the Moor".

The next time we see the name it is linked to the court of the Visagothic Cuadillo in Cangas de Onis and still later on to the Council of Gijon.

Moving forward several centuries we find a number of Spanish genealogies using these names. Go to the link on Hispanic Morans for some of these genealogies >

There are several Moran Coats Of Arms that feature the heraldic device known as Moor's heads, most of these families are Morin families based in France. The Moran family of Ballina, Ireland had a Coat Of Arms assigned it which features a "demi Saracen" above the shield. The Moors' Head is discussed at this link >

It was about three years ago that Eduardo Moran Dosta first broached to me the idea that the Morans may have an Moorish origin. At the time I dismissed it out of hand as my research showed obvious Irish origins, and that one set of siblings could not found a genealogy that would stand the test of time reaching from the 700s to the 1200s when Morans are recorded in Austuria. Since then I have come across this story, or one of its versions, several times and feel it must be mentioned for individuals to evaluate for themselves.

Return to Moran Genealogy Table Of Contents >