The Morkie is a somewhat new hybrid; because of this, there is no real detailed history — although it is believed that the first Morkie was conceived in the 1990s in the United States. Fortunately, there is quite a bit of history regarding the Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier breeds.
The lineage of the Maltese goes back approximately 2,000 years. This toy dog has been depicted in the ancient art of Egypt, Greece and Rome; even Aristotle described the breed as "perfectly proportioned." Just as the many other treasures that passed through this miniature Mediterranean archipelago — along with the many conquerors that laid claim to and thereafter lost the island — the Maltese may have first been noted on Malta. In any case, what is known is the dog was highly coveted, and even before Christianity was born, the dog was an ornament without which no noble woman was fully dressed.
With the fall of Rome came the Dark Ages, but not for the Maltese; the dog thrived as a currency in the Far East even as the West fell into murder, disease and despair, and dog-breeding was all but lost. With the Renaissance, dog-breeding was again brought to the fore, and it was during this rebirth that the Maltese gained one of its nicknames from being used in lieu of water-bottles to ease body pain: "comforter dog." The Maltese was said to have been initially imported to the United States from England in the late 1800s but didn't gain nationwide popularity in the U.S. until the 1950s. The Maltese was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1888, and these days it is one of the most popular show dogs in the nation.
The Yorkshire Terrier, on the other hand, is not even two centuries old — but the breed has a rich history replete with detailed records since shortly after its inception. They were raised as ratters, but quickly became popular as lap dogs. Ultimately named for the north England region from which they came, Yorkshire Terriers were conceived in the 1850s when various Terriers were cross-bred among people seeking work in the area during the early Industrial Revolution. The Terriers were taken along by the workers for one basic reason: as ratters to control the vermin population in the mines, factories and mills where the men were employed. The remarkably small dog could literally be carried in their pockets and could easily chase down rodents in the small spaces where they hid. Despite its humble beginnings, the Yorkshire Terrier quickly became a favorite of English Victorian royalty. These days, it remains one of the most popular toy-sized dogs in many countries including the U.S., UK and Australia. It was recognized by the AKC in 1885.