Humanities › History & Culture Last Name Meaning and Origin of Moore Share Flipboard Email Print galerie-ef.de/Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Kimberly Powell Genealogy Expert Certificate in Genealogical Research, Boston University B.A., Carnegie Mellon University Kimberly Powell is a professional genealogist and the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. She teaches at the Genealogical Institute of Pittsburgh and the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. our editorial process Kimberly Powell Updated April 20, 2019 Moore is a common surname in many countries, with several possible origins: One who lived at or near a moor or marshy bog, from the Middle English more (Old English mor), meaning "moor, marsh, or fen"From the Old French more, derived from the Latin maurus, a term that originally denoted a native of northwestern Africa but came to be used informally as a nickname for someone who was "dark-complexioned" or "swarthy."From the Gaelic "O'Mordha", with O meaning "descendant of" and Mordha derived from Mor meaning "great, chief, mighty, or proud."In Wales and Scotland, the name Moore was often bestowed as a nickname for a "big" or "large" man, from the Gaelic mor or the Welsh mowr, both meaning "great." Moore is the 16th most common surname in America, the 33rd most common last name in England, and the 87th most common surname in Scotland. Surname Origin: English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish Alternate Surname Spellings: MORES, MORE, MOARS, MOOR, MOAR, MOORER, MUIR Famous People With the Surname Demi Moore - American actressClement C. Moore - author of "A Visit from St. Nicholas"Ann Moore - Inventor of the Snugli baby carrierMandy Moore - pop singer and actressGordon Moore - co-founder of Intel which introduced the world's first single-chip microprocessor Where Is the Surname Most Commonly Found? The Moore surname is most commonly found today in Northern Ireland, according to WorldNames PublicProfiler, followed closely by the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand. Within Northern Ireland, the Moore surname is found in greatest numbers in Londonderry. Within the United States, Moore is found most frequently in the southern states, including Mississippi, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Forebears rank Moore as the 455th most common surname in the world and includes historical data from 1901 when Moore was more frequent in the Northern Ireland counties of Antrim (7th most popular surname), although followed fairly closely by Down (ranked 14th) and Londonderry (ranked 11th). During the period 1881–1901, Moore also ranked highly in Isle of Man (4th), Norfolk (6th), Leicestershire (8th), Queen's County (11th), and Kildare (11th). Genealogy Resources for the Surname Moore Genealogy - Western NC, SC, and North GAA site documenting Moores living in Western North Carolina, Upper West South Carolina, and North Georgia through ca 1850. Moore Family Genealogy ForumSearch this popular genealogy forum for the Moore surname to find others who might be researching your ancestors, or post your own Moore query. Source: Cottle, Basil. Penguin Dictionary of Surnames. Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1967. Menk, Lars. A Dictionary of German Jewish Surnames. Avotaynu, 2005. Beider, Alexander. A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames from Galicia. Avotaynu, 2004. Hanks, Patrick, and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford University Press, 1989. Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. Oxford University Press, 2003. Smith, Elsdon C. American Surnames. Genealogical Publishing Company, 1997.