McMurtry History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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

Early Origins of the McMurtry family

The surname McMurtry 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 McMurtry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMurtry 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 and are included under the topic Early McMurtry History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McMurtry 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. McMurtry has appeared as MacCurdy, MacKirdy, MacKirdie, MacCurdie, MacQuartie, MacBararthy, MacBerarthy, MacWerarthy, MacMurtrie, MacMutrie and many more.

Early Notables of the McMurtry family (pre 1700)

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

McMurtry Ranking

In the United States, the name McMurtry is the 10,867th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the McMurtry family to Ireland

Some of the McMurtry family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States McMurtry migration to the United States +

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 McMurtry or a variant listed above:

McMurtry Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George G McMurtry, who arrived in Michigan in 1860 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name McMurtry (post 1700) +

  • Larry Jeff McMurtry (1936-2021), American Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award winning novelist, essayist, bookseller, and screenwriter, best known for Lonesome Dove which was adapted into a television miniseries that earned 18 Emmy Award nominations, recipient of the National Humanities Medal in 2014
  • Paul McMurtry, American politician from Massachusetts, Member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (2007-)
  • Alexandra Claire "Alex" McMurtry (b. 1996), retired American artistic gymnast, 2013 Nastia Liukin Cup champion and the 2017 NCAA Champion
  • Joe Craig McMurtry (b. 1959), American former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Atlanta Braves (1983–86), Texas Rangers (1988–90) and Houston Astros (1995)
  • Gregory Wendell "Greg" McMurtry (b. 1967), former American football player
  • George Gibson McMurtry (1876-1958), American officer in United States Army, a Medal of Honor recipient, a Harvard Law-educated Wall Street lawyer
  • William McMurtry (1801-1875), American Democratic Party politician, Member of Illinois State House of Representatives, 1836; Member of Illinois State Senate, 1842; Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, 1849-53 [5]
  • J. L. McMurtry, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Kentucky 8th District, 1874 [5]
  • I. B. McMurtry, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Midland District, 1942 [5]
  • John McMurtry FRSC, Canadian University Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Guelph, Canada.[
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Frederick Archibald Mcmurtry, Canadian 1st Class Passenger from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking [6]


The McMurtry 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)
  3. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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