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

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

The surname Moffett was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by an ancient Scottish people called the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for someone who 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 Moffett means, from the long field.

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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 Moffett 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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moffett 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 Moffett History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the Moffett 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.

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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:

Moffett Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Samuel Moffett settled in Virginia in 1772

Moffett Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Elizabeth Moffett, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Martha Moffett, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • James Moffett, who arrived in New York in 1822
  • John Moffett, who landed in New York in 1822
  • Samuel Moffett, who landed in Maryland in 1832


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  • Charles Moffett (1929-1997), American free jazz drummer
  • Charnett Moffett (b. 1967), American jazz bassist, son of Charles
  • Donald Warren "D. W." Moffett (b. 1954), American actor
  • Judith Moffett (b. 1942), American author, recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction (1988)
  • Sharyn Moffett (b. 1936), American child actress
  • William Adger Moffett (1869-1933), American admiral, best known as the architect of naval aviation in the United States Navy
  • David Moffett (b. 1957), English-born, Australian CEO of Australia's National Rugby League (1999 to 2001)
  • Georgia Elizabeth Moffett (b. 1984), English actress
  • Peter Moffett (b. 1951), English actor who uses the stage name Peter Davison, best known for his role in Doctor Who (1982 to 1984)
  • Sir Thomas William Moffett (1820-1908), Irish scholar and educationalist, President of Queen's College Galway


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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  4. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Moffett Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Moffett 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 15 September 2013 at 12:52.

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