Family name origins

Does anyone know the origins of the family names –

Maraniss

and

Margolis/Margulies ?

This site has extensive links to genealogy sites. There’s a good chance you will find what you’re looking for.

This site has extensive links to genealogy sites. There’s a good chance you will find what you’re looking for.

Thanks for the link, but that is a genealogy site and I’m looking for etymological information.

There is an apparent similarity between the name first name “Margaret” and the surnames “Margolis” and “Margulies”.

“Margaret” derives from the Greek word for “pearl”, Sure enough, here’s a genealogy site that makes the same connection for “Margolis” and “Margulies”, except that the author connects the surnames to the Hebrew margalit, also meaning approximately “pearl”.

“Maraniss” is a much harder one to figure out … at least through Googling.

There are a few possible hints:

  • The feminine name “Mara” is Hebrew for “bitter”. So the root mara- may be the first part of the name “Maraniss”.

  • This name has a fair similarity to names like the Italian “Marinaro”, which means IIRC “sailor, seaman”. “Maraniss” could perhaps be an Ellis-Island version of such a name (not necesarily “Marinaro”).

  • Kind of a WAG: the maran- in “Maraniss” may derive from the French maron, meaning “brown”. Again, a generations-old respelling at the immigration office may have yielded the name’s current form.

  • If the name were spelled “Maranis”, it would look much like a Greek surname. I don’t know what that might mean in Greek. “Maranis” would also look much like “Moranis”, as in “Rick Moranis”, which I don’t know the origin of. Is Rick Moranis of Greek descent?

Do you know what country the Maraniss folks came from originally?

Part and parcel, my fellow Doper. Genealogy research will tell you any and all things about your family name. A brief search on rootsweb.com showed me that many people with the last name of Margolis were from Poland and that the name is probably Jewish in origin. I had no luck with your spelling of ‘Marannis’, but it’s probably been bastardized from something else, like so many immigrant names.

These fine people might be able to help you:
WordOrigins

For Maraniss: from this page:

For Margolis: this page says it’s a Rabbinical name, meaning “pearls” or the feminine name “Pearl”, from the 15th century.

Thanks, guys!

Is there any indication that Maraniss and Moranis are the same name, as they seem to be?