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

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

The ancient Scottish name Moffatt was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The original bearer of the name lived in the place called Moffatt, in Scotland. The place-name is derived from the Gaelic words magh and fada, which mean field and long. Hence, the surname Moffatt means, from the long field.


The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Moffatt has been spelled Moffatt, Maffat, Maffett, Maffet, Moffat, Moffet, Moffett, Moffert, Moffertt, Moffit, Moffitt, Merphet, Merphett, Merfet, Merfett, Murphat, Murphatt, Murphet, Murphett, Muffat, Muffatt, Muffett, Muffet, Muffit and many more.

First found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, at Annandale where the first on record was Nicholas de Mufet who began his life as a simple cleric and was first recorded as witness to a charter by Walter, bishop of Glasgow, some time before 1232. Approximately twenty years later, in 1250, he was made Archdeacon of Theuidale and eventually, in 1268, he was made Bishop of Glasgow. After only two years of holding the position of bishop, he died, in the year 1270.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moffatt research. Another 221 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1348, 1467, 1553, 1604, 1795, 1883, 1815, 1870 and are included under the topic Early Moffatt History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 125 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Moffatt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Moffatt family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 127 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were:

Moffatt Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • John Moffatt, who landed in Maryland in 1663

Moffatt Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Moffatt settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1712
  • Thomas Moffatt, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1712

Moffatt Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • William Moffatt, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • James Moffatt, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1870
  • Robert Moffatt, who arrived in California in 1876


  • John Moffatt (b. 1964), American television producer and world record holder for distance traveled on a personal water craft
  • Seth Crittenden Moffatt (1841-1887), American politician, 29th Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives (1881-1882)
  • James Moffatt (1870-1944), Scottish theologian and Bible translator
  • Henry Keith Moffatt FRS, FRSE (b. 1935), Scottish applied mathematician
  • Laura Moffatt (b. 1954), born Laura Jean Field, British politician, Member of Parliament for Crawley (1997-2010)
  • Tracey Moffatt (b. 1960), Australian artist
  • George Moffatt (1787-1865), English-born, Canadian businessman and politician, co-founder of Gillespie, Moffatt, and Company in 1811, Member of the Legislative Council of Lower Canada (1830-1838)
  • Emma Moffatt (b. 1948), Australian Olympic triathlete bronze medalist
  • David Moffatt (1892-1950), Australian rules footballer
  • Graham Moffatt (1919-1965), British character actor and comedian, best known for his roles as an overweight schoolboy; he died from a heart attack at 45



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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. 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).
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  10. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  11. ...

The Moffatt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Moffatt 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 22 November 2013 at 10:18.

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