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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Scottish Murray family come from? What is the Scottish Murray family crest and coat of arms? When did the Murray family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Murray family history?

Murray was first used as a surname by descendants of the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The ancestors of the Murray family lived in the county of Moray in the northeast of Scotland, but some historians describe the Clan's forbears as originally Flemish, some as Lowland Scots. More enlightened research places them as descendents of MacAngus de Moravia, who was descended from King Duncan of Scotland and who was the first Earl of Murray.


Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Murray has appeared Murray, Murrey, Moray, Morey, Morrey, Morry, Murry and many more.

First found in Moray, where the Clan founder, Freskin, received a grant of the lands of Strathbrock in 1100 AD. He was descended from the first Earl, and his grandson, William, married the heiress of the Bothwell Clan in Lanarkshire. His sons founded many other houses, including the Murrays of Tullibardine, who later became the Dukes of Atholl, and Chiefs of the Clan. At the same time, an early branch in the north had given origin to the Earls of Sutherland.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murray research. Another 1191 words(85 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1170, 1100, 1255, 1297, 1320, 1333, 1360, 1629, 1703, 1446, 1586, 1598, 1598, 1715, 1745, 1765, 1608, 1673, 1660, 1724, 1600, 1655, 1631, 1703, 1640, 1650, 1716, 1691, 1701, 1663, 1719, 1710, 1715, 1663, 1734 and are included under the topic Early Murray History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 243 words(17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Murray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Murray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Murray:

Murray Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Francis Murray, who arrived in Virginia in 1664
  • Anna Murray, who landed in New Jersey in 1685
  • Johnathan Murray, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1687

Murray Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Barbara Murray, who landed in Cape Fear, North Carolina in 1737
  • Charles Murray, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Garret Murray, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746
  • Elizabeth Murray, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1755
  • Archibald Murray, aged 17, arrived in New York in 1755

Murray Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • James Murray of County Derry, who went to Philadelphia in 1803 aboard the "Mohawk"
  • Alex Murray, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Hannah Murray, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811
  • Wm Murray, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Robert Murray, aged 46, arrived in Tennessee in 1812

Murray Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • John Murray, who landed in Colorado in 1901


  • Bill Murray (b. 1950), Academy Award-nominated, Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-winning American comedian and actor
  • Patty Murray (b. 1950), American Politician, United States Senator for Washington (from 1992)
  • Vice Admiral George Dominic Murray (1889-1956), American early naval aviator
  • Jeanne Murray (b. 1923), original name of Jean Stapleton, American character actress of stage, television and film, best known for her portrayal of Edith Bunker in All in the Family
  • Lindley Murray (1745-1826), American grammarian
  • First Lieutenant Charles P Murray Jr. (b. 1921), American Army officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Jim Murray (1919-1998), American who won the NSSA's Sportswriter of the Year award fourteen times (twelve of those consecutively.) In 1990, he won a Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for his 1989 columns, and the Baseball Hall of Fame awarded him the J. G. Taylor Spink Award in 1987
  • Dr Joseph Murray (1919-2012), American doctor who won the Nobel prize in 1990 for his pioneering work in human organ transplants
  • Albert L. Murray (1916-2013), African-American literary and jazz critic, novelist, essayist and biographer
  • Bruce Churchill Murray (1931-2013), American space scientist, Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (1976–1982)



  • Family Ties of Roy Harold Murray by Miriam Clouds Murray.
  • Golden Clan: the Murrays, the McDonnells, and the Irish American Aristocracy by John Corry.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tout Pręt
Motto Translation: Quite ready.


Murray Clan Badge
Murray Clan Badge

Buy JPG Image

A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...


Septs of the Distinguished Name Murray
Bainese, Balnave, Balnaves, Balnavis, Balneaves, Banese, Bannese, Baynese, Benase, Benes, Benese, Bennase, Bennes, Bennese, Dandemore, Dansmore, Densmore, Desmore, Dinmoor, Dinmoore, Dinmore, Dinmuir, Dinsmoor, Dinsmoore, Dinsmore, Dinsmuir, Dinsmure, Drimmie, Dundemore, Dunmoor, Dunmoore, Dunmore, Dunmuir, Dunmur, Dunsmoor, Dunsmoore, Dunsmore, Dunsmuir, Dunsmure, Dynmoor, Dynmoore, Dynmore, Dynmour, Dynmuir, Dynmur, Dynmure, Dynsmoor, Dynsmoore, Dynsmore, Dynsmuir and more.


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  1. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  8. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  11. ...

The Murray Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Murray Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 September 2014 at 19:52.

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