MacMurtey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name MacMurtey are thought to have come from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. MacMurtey was used to indicate someone who worked as a noted mariner or a sea captain. [1]

Early Origins of the MacMurtey family

The surname MacMurtey was first found in the islands of Arran and Bute. Early records for the family are scarce. "In 1506 Gilcrist Makwrerdy held the lands of Bransar in Bute, and Finlay Makvreirdy had sasine of Brothok there in the same year. Donald Makwrarty of Birgadulknok appears in 1534; several M'Urartys appear as witnesses in Bute in 1540; and Sir James M'Wartye, a Pope's knight, appears as vicar of Kingarth in Bute, 1554 and 1556. James Makilveritie, chaplain in the chapel of S. Michael the Archangel in Rothesay Castle, between 1590-1600, appears in the Exchequer Rolls as McQuhirertie, McQuhirirtie, McQuheritie (these three spellings in 1596), McIliquharartie (1598), and Makquhirrirtie (1600). " [2]

The MacMurtrie variant is "current in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, Gilbert Makmurtye was a witness in Edinburgh, 1508." [2]

Early History of the MacMurtey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacMurtey research. Another 290 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1622, 1662, 1706, 1663, 1790, 1887, 1929, 1662, 1506, 1547, 1626, 1541, 1600, 1562, 1623, 1520, 1566, 1517, 1517, 1568, 1539, 1564, 1561, 1506, 1566, 1642, 1623, 1555, 1745, 1797, 1891, 1847, 1849, and 1659 are included under the topic Early MacMurtey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

MacMurtey Spelling Variations

In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. MacMurtey has appeared as MacCurdy, MacKirdy, MacKirdie, MacCurdie, MacQuartie, MacBararthy, MacBerarthy, MacWerarthy, MacMurtrie, MacMutrie and many more.

Early Notables of the MacMurtey family (pre 1700)

Another 47 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacMurtey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the MacMurtey family to Ireland

Some of the MacMurtey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 147 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the MacMurtey family

Many of the ancestors of Dalriadan families who arrived in North America still live in communities along the east coast of Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence many of the original settlers traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the ancestors of many Scots began recovering their collective national heritage through Clan societies, highland games, and other patriotic events. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name MacMurtey or a variant listed above: James McCurdy, and his wife Elizabeth Ayers, who were recorded as Scotch-Irish living in New Hampshire in 1730; Archibald Mccurdy, who arrived in New England in 1737 with his five children, John McCurdy, who arrived in New England in 1745.



The MacMurtey 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: Dieu et mon pays
Motto Translation: God and my country.


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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