According to "Some of the Ancestors of Francis Flournoy, Sr, of Chesterfield County, Virginia" Compiled by Bettye S. Rathbone, the Morel family came from Puplinge, east of Geneva, Switzerland, probably in the late 16th century, but I was wondering if there was any source that could take the family further back. Morel has been identified as a Sephardic Jewish name and the results of a DNA test proved that I had two Sephardic Jewish lines in my history, one branch that went to Turkey and the other to Morocco.
When I learned of the Moroccan line it made me think of the Morel family, mainly because of what was in Rathbones book, p. 62. " Two different coats of arms have been used by descendants. The one illustrated is described as: three stars "mal ordonees," accompanied in point by a cescent moon. This was used by Esaie Morel (c1630-1699), notary, son of Daniel and grandson of Mamad Morel. A second design, described as of silver, bearing the head of a Moor, wreathed with silver, and accompanied in the chief by two roses of gules, was used by Pierre Morel (1627-1684), master goldsmith, son of Louis and grandson of Mamad Morel. Some of the pewterers of the family have used the head of a Moor in their marque."
The note regarding the name Mamad states "This odd given name was popular in the parish from which he came." From what I can find Mamad is a form of Mohammed and implies, along with the crescent moon and the image of a Moor on their coat of arms, a strong Muslim influence, which could have happened in Morocco.
Anybody that would have any idea about this, please write, any help would be appreciated.