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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016

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

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


Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname McMurry were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. McMurray, O'Murry, McMurry, Mulmurry, Murray and others.

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.


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


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


To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence began, many Irish settlers took the side of England, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America and Australia. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name McMurry or a variant listed above, including:

McMurry Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • John McMurry, who landed in Frederick County, Maryland in 1797

McMurry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Michal McMurry, who arrived in Morgan County, Illinois in 1854
  • H. McMurry, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1892
  • Sarah McMurry, aged 27, who settled in America, in 1893

McMurry Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Helen McMurry, aged 1, who settled in America from India, in 1903
  • C.F. McMurry, aged 38, who emigrated to America from India, in 1903
  • Miss Alin McMurry, aged 30, who emigrated to the United States, in 1903
  • William John McMurry, aged 35, who emigrated to America from Kiddybey, in 1905
  • Wm. J. McMurry, aged 40, who landed in America, in 1907


  • William Fletcher McMurry (1864-1934), American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, eponym of McMurry University, Abilene, Texas
  • Ora McMurry, American officer in the United States Army Air Service during World War I, two-time recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross
  • Charles Alexander McMurry Ph.D. (1857-1929), American educator, professor at Illinois State University and at the University of Chicago
  • Lillian Shedd McMurry (1921-1999), American record producer, founder of Trumpet Records (1950-1955), inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1998
  • Sam McMurry (b. 1952), American television, film, and voice actor
  • James Christopher "Jamie" McMurry (b. 1976), American professional race car driver, one of three drivers to win both the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400 in the same year
  • John E. McMurry (b. 1942), American Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University who developed the McMurry reaction
  • Wesley M. McMurry, American Democrat politician, Member of Missouri State House of Representatives from Scotland County, 1907-08; Member of Missouri State Senate 12th District, 1923-28
  • P. W. McMurry, American Republican politician, Member of Iowa State Senate 4th District; Elected 1948
  • Mary Glenn McMurry, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Kentucky State Senate 26th District, 1990



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. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  3. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. O'Hart, John. Irish Pedigress 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  11. ...

The McMurry Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McMurry 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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