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

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

The McMurray surname in Ireland is an Anglicization of two different Gaelic names: O Muireadhaigh, and Mac Muireadhaigh.


People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname McMurray that are preserved in archival documents are McMurray, O'Murry, McMurry, Mulmurry, Murray and others.

First found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMurray research. Another 252 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1450 and 1771 are included under the topic Early McMurray History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early McMurray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the McMurray name:

McMurray Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • John McMurray, one of the Scotch-Irish, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1772
  • John McMurray, who arrived in South Carolina in 1772

McMurray Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Archibald McMurray, who landed in America in 1801
  • Samuel McMurray, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Henry McMurray, who landed in America in 1810
  • Alex McMurray, who came to New York city in 1811
  • Alexander McMurray, aged 27, arrived in Rhode Island in 1812


  • James Christopher "Jamie" McMurray (b. 1976), professional American race car driver
  • Sam McMurray (b. 1952), American television, film and voice actor
  • Howard Johnstone McMurray (1901-1961), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin (1943-1945)
  • William McMurray (1813-1868), American lawyer and politician, New York State Senator (1852-1853)
  • Jack McMurray Sr. (1889-1988), Australian rules football field umpire, inducted to the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996
  • Jack McMurray Jr. (1915-2004), Australian rules football field umpire, inducted to the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996
  • Edward James McMurray (1878-1969), Canadian politician, Member of the Canadian Parliament for Winnipeg North (1921-1925)
  • Thomas Porter McMurray (1887-1949), British orthopedic surgeon who developed the McMurray test
  • Mr. William Ernest McMurray (d. 1912), aged 43, English Bedroom Steward from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking


  • The Family History of Wainner, Overton, McMurr(a)y and Interconnecting Lines by Merle Wainner Jeter,.
  • The Tennessee Colony by Rhuy K. Williams McMurray.

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: Virtute fideque
Motto Translation: By virtue and faith.


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  1. Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  4. McDonnell, Frances. Emigrants from Ireland to America 1735-1743 A Transcription of the report of the Irish House of Commons into Enforced emigration to America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1331-5).
  5. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  6. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  10. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  11. ...

The McMurray Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McMurray 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 19 February 2014 at 14:52.

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