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.

Early Origins of the McMurtry family

The surname McMurtry was first found in on the isle of Bute, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Early History of the McMurtry family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McMurtry research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) 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.

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 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name McMurtry (post 1700) +

  • George Gibson McMurtry (1876-1958), American officer in United States Army who received the Medal of Honor
  • Larry Jeff McMurtry (b. 1936), American novelist, essayist, bookseller, and Academy Award winning screenwriter, as well as winning the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for fiction
  • William McMurtry (1801-1875), American Democrat politician, Member of Illinois State House of Representatives, 1836; Member of Illinois State Senate, 1842; Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, 1849-53 [2]
  • J. L. McMurtry, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Kentucky 8th District, 1874 [2]
  • I. B. McMurtry, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Midland District, 1942 [2]

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 [3]


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


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