MacMurray History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The MacMurray surname in Ireland is an Anglicization of two different Gaelic names: O Muireadhaigh, and Mac Muireadhaigh.

Early Origins of the MacMurray family

The surname MacMurray was first found in County Roscommon (Irish: Ros Comáin) located in central Ireland in the province of Connacht, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the MacMurray family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacMurray research. Another 118 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1450 and 1771 are included under the topic Early MacMurray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacMurray Spelling Variations

Before widespread literacy came to Ireland, a name was often recorded under several different variations during the life of its bearer. Accordingly, numerous spelling variations were revealed in the search for the origin of the name MacMurray family name. Variations found include McMurray, O'Murry, McMurry, Mulmurry, Murray and others.

Early Notables of the MacMurray family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early MacMurray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States MacMurray migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the MacMurray family in North America:

MacMurray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alex MacMurray, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Hannah MacMurray, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Nancy MacMurray, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • William MacMurray, who arrived in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Jess MacMurray, who arrived in New York, NY in 1816 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name MacMurray (post 1700) +

  • Frederick Martin "Fred" MacMurray (1908-1991), American Golden Globe nominated actor who appeared in more than 100 movies, but probably best remembered for his starring role as Steve Douglas, the widowed patriarch on My Three Sons (1960-1972), the first person honored as a Disney Legend, in 1987
  • Lillita Louise MacMurray (1908-1935), birth name of Lita Grey and Lita Grey Chaplin, an American actress and the second wife of Charlie Chaplin
  • John Van Antwerp MacMurray (1881-1960), American attorney, author and diplomat, Assistant Secretary of State (1924-1925), Minister to China (1925-1929)
  • John Macmurray MC (1891-1976), Scottish philosopher who made contributions in the fields of political science, religion, education, and philosophy
  • John Stewart Wright MacMurray (b. 1958), Canadian musician, Principal Trumpet with the Hallé Orchestra of Great Britain from 1986 to 2006

The MacMurray Motto +

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: Virtute fideque
Motto Translation: By virtue and faith.

  1. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook
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