McMurtey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

McMurtey comes from the kingdom of Dalriada in ancient Scotland. It was a name for a person who worked as a noted mariner or a sea captain. [1]

Early Origins of the McMurtey family

The surname McMurtey 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 McMurtey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMurtey 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 McMurtey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McMurtey Spelling Variations

The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years McMurtey has appeared as MacCurdy, MacKirdy, MacKirdie, MacCurdie, MacQuartie, MacBararthy, MacBerarthy, MacWerarthy, MacMurtrie, MacMutrie and many more.

Early Notables of the McMurtey family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the McMurtey family to Ireland

Some of the McMurtey 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 McMurtey family

Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name McMurtey 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 McMurtey 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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