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

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

Moorehead is an ancient Scottish name that was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. It is a name for someone who lived in Lanark, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages.


Prior to the first dictionaries, scribes spelled words according to sound. This, and the fact that Scottish names were repeatedly translated from Gaelic to English and back, contributed to the enormous number of spelling variations in Scottish names. Moorehead has been spelled Muirhead, Morehead, Moorhead, Moorehead, Murehead and others.

First found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow. Today, Muirhead is a small suburb of Glasgow, about 7 miles North-East of the city center.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moorehead research. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1401 and 1491 are included under the topic Early Moorehead History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Moorehead family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words(7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In such difficult times, the difficulties of raising the money to cross the Atlantic to North America did not seem so large compared to the problems of keeping a family together in Scotland. It was a journey well worth the cost, since it was rewarded with land and freedom the Scots could not find at home. The American War of Independence solidified that freedom, and many of those settlers went on to play important parts in the forging of a great nation. Among them:

Moorehead Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Samuel Moorehead, who arrived in Maryland in 1662

Moorehead Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Charles Moorehead, who arrived in Virginia in 1705

Moorehead Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Moorehead, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823
  • James Moorehead, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824
  • John Moorehead, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1830
  • J Moorehead, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • J M Moorehead, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


  • Aaron Moorehead. (b. 1980), American football player
  • Agnes Robertson Moorehead (1900-1974), American Primetime Emmy Award and two-time Golden Globe Award winning film and television actress, best known for her role as Endora on the television series Bewitched
  • Emery Moorehead (b. 1954), American NFL football player who played from 1977 through 1988
  • Monica Moorehead (b. 1952), American politician
  • Warren King Moorehead (1866-1939), American archaeologist, known as the "Dean of American archaeology", eponym of the Moorehead Phase and the Moorehead Circle
  • Kindal Jerome Moorehead (b. 1978), American NFL football defensive tackle
  • Tom Van Horn Moorehead (1898-1979), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio (1961-1963)
  • John Alston Moorehead (1882-1931), American head football coach for Western University of Pennsylvania
  • Frederick B. Moorehead (1875-1944), Dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry (1913-1924)
  • Alan McCrae Moorehead OBE (1910-1983), Australian writer and journalist, best known for his books on the nineteenth-century exploration of the Nile, The White Nile (1960) and The Blue Nile (1962)



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: Auxilio Dei
Motto Translation: By the help of God.


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  1. 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).
  2. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  9. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Moorehead Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Moorehead 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 8 June 2014 at 22:22.

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