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

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The surname McMurray 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.

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname McMurray that are preserved in archival documents are McMurray, O'Murry, McMurry, Mulmurry, Murray and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMurray research. Another 252 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1450 and 1771 are included under the topic Early McMurray History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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A great mass of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century, seeking relief from various forms of social, religious, and economic discrimination. This Irish exodus was primarily to North America. If the migrants survived the long ocean journey, many unfortunately would find more discrimination in the colonies of British North America and the fledgling United States of America. These newly arrived Irish were, however, wanted as a cheap source of labor for the many large agricultural and industrial projects that were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the western world. Early immigration and passenger lists indicate many people bearing the McMurray name:

McMurray Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • John McMurray, one of the Scotch-Irish, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1772
  • John McMurray, who arrived in South Carolina in 1772

McMurray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Archibald McMurray, who landed in America in 1801
  • Samuel McMurray, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • Henry McMurray, who landed in America in 1810
  • Alex McMurray, who came to New York city in 1811
  • Alexander McMurray, aged 27, arrived in Rhode Island in 1812


McMurray Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Biddy McMurray arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834
  • John McMurray arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834
  • Patrick McMurray arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834
  • Alice McMurray arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834
  • Thomas McMurray arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Robert Burns" in 1834


McMurray Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Eliza McMurray, aged 20, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "David Malcolm"
  • Mary McMurray, aged 28, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Northern Light"
  • Joseph McMurray, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"
  • Jane McMurray, aged 22, a domestic servant, arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Fitzjames"
  • Mary McMurray, aged 11, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Omega"

McMurray Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Robert McMurray, aged 26, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Ionic" in 1884

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  • Claudia A. McMurray, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs from 2006 to 2009
  • William McMurray (1813-1868), American lawyer and politician, New York State Senator (1852-1853)
  • Howard Johnstone McMurray (1901-1961), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Wisconsin (1943-1945)
  • Sam McMurray (b. 1952), American television, film and voice actor
  • James Christopher "Jamie" McMurray (b. 1976), professional American race car driver
  • H. A. McMurray, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1936, 1940
  • Frederick W. McMurray (b. 1871), American Republican politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Cape May County, 1928
  • Floyd I. McMurray, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Indiana 6th District, 1942
  • Ebenezer McMurray, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Washington County 1st District, 1854
  • Charles A. McMurray, American politician, Member of South Dakota State Senate 36th District, 1935-36

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  • The Family History of Wainner, Overton, McMurr(a)y and Interconnecting Lines by Merle Wainner Jeter,.
  • The Tennessee Colony by Rhuy K. Williams McMurray.
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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: Virtute fideque
Motto Translation: By virtue and faith.

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  1. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
  11. ...

The McMurray Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McMurray 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 January 2016 at 11:43.

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