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

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

The western coast of Scotland and the desolate Hebrides islands are the ancient home of the Murchison family. Their name is derived from the personal name Murchadh, which means sea warrior.The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Mhurchaidh, meaning son of Murchadh;

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Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Murchison has appeared in various documents spelled Murchison, Murcheson, Murchieson, Murquhouson, Murquhosoun, Murckison and many more.

First found in Inverness, where they held a family seat from very ancient times. They are believed to be descended from Murdoch, a natural son of Angus Mor of Islay of the Clan Donald. In the 12th and 13th centuries the name assumed the Gaelic MacMurchie but with the growing economic need to blend into the mainland the name became anglicized to Murchison.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murchison research. Another 216 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1452, 1541, 1566, and 1685 are included under the topic Early Murchison History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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The descendants of the Dalriadan families who made the great crossing of the Atlantic still dot communities along the east coast of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many of the settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Clan societies and highland games have allowed Canadian and American families of Scottish descent to recover much of their lost heritage. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Murchison or a variant listed above include:

Murchison Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • John Murchison, who arrived in Georgia in 1736

Murchison Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Murchison, aged 34, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Alexander Murchison, who arrived in Jamaica sometime between 1813 and 1825
  • Farguhar Murchison, aged 50, who emigrated to the United States from Glasgow, in 1892

Murchison Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Alexander Murchison, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1909
  • John Murchison, aged 25, who emigrated to America from Dalkirth, Scotland, in 1910
  • John Murchison, aged 28, who landed in America from Renten, Scotland, in 1910
  • David Murchison, aged 23, who settled in America from Paisley, Scotland, in 1911
  • Kenneth Murchison, aged 32, who settled in America from Glasgow, Scotland, in 1912


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  • Loren C Murchison (1898-1979), American double Olympic gold medal winner
  • Kenneth MacKenzie Murchison (1872-1938), American architect
  • Very Rev. Thomas Moffatt Murchison, Chief of the Gaelic Society in Inverness
  • Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871), British geologist, eponym of the Murchison crater on the moon


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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: Impavido pectore
Motto Translation: With undaunted heart.

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  1. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  9. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Murchison Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Murchison 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 3 March 2014 at 10:52.

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