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

Origins Available: Irish-Alt, Irish

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

Many of the oldest Irish surnames were originally in the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Murphy is O Murchadha or Mac Murchadha, which are both derived from the word "murchadh," meaning "sea warrior."


Irish names were rarely spelled consistently in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations of the name Murphy dating from that time include Murphy, Morchoe, O'Murphy, Murfie, Murfree, Morfie, Morfey and many more.

First found in County Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very early times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murphy research. Another 191 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1127, 1172, 1650, 1716 and 1798 are included under the topic Early Murphy History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 45 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Murphy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Murphy family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Murphy Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Abraham Murphy, who settled in Maryland in 1674
  • Abraham Murphy, who arrived in Maryland in 1674
  • Daniel Murphy, who came to Maryland in 1678
  • Edmund Murphy, who arrived in Maryland in 1678
  • Howard Murphy, who landed in Maryland in 1678

Murphy Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Edward Murphy, who settled in Boston in 1766
  • Dennis Murphy, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1766
  • Eleanor Murphy, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1767
  • Ann Murphy, who settled in Philadelphia in 1773

Murphy Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Francis Murphy, who came to New York in 1803
  • Arthur Murphy, who settled in Philadelphia in 1804
  • Arthur Murphy, aged 49, landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Philip Murphy, aged 22, arrived in Maryland in 1812
  • Peter Murphy, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1813

Murphy Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • Henrique Murphy, who arrived in Alabama in 1927


  • Henry Cruse Murphy (1810-1982), American politician and historian
  • Franklin David Murphy (1916-1994), American administrator, businessman, and publisher
  • William Parry Murphy (1892-1987), American physician, who shared the 1934 Nobel Prize for discovering that a diet of liver relieves anemia
  • Francis William Murphy (1890-1949), US lawyer and politician
  • George Lloyd Murphy (1902-1992), American dancer, actor, and politician
  • Mary Murphy (b. 1927), Emmy award-winning American actress of stage, film, and television
  • Melvin Edward Alton "Turk" Murphy (1915-1987), renowned American jazz musician
  • Captain Audie Leon Murphy (1924-1971), the most decorated American soldier who among other awards was awarded both the Congressional Medal of Honor and the Croix de Guerre (twice) during WWII
  • Private First Class Frederick C Murphy (1918-1945), American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Matt "Guitar" Murphy (b. 1929), American blues guitarist



  • The Ancestors and Descendants of Simon Jones and Ann M. (Dorr) Murphy by Marjorie Barnes Thompson.
  • Early Murphy's, Murpheys in Pittsylvania County, Virginia, Robertson and Carroll Counties, Tennessee by Marion Emerson Murphy.

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: Fortis et hospitalis
Motto Translation: Brave and hospitable.


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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  3. MacLysaght, Edward. Mores Irish Familes. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-0126-0).
  4. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  8. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  9. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The Murphy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Murphy 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 September 2014 at 09:14.

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