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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The Strathclyde-Briton people of ancient Scotland were the first to use the name Moffat. The Moffat family lived in the place called Moffatt, in Scotland. The place-name is derived from the Gaelic words magh and fada, which mean field and long. Hence, the surname Moffat means, from the long field.


The variation in the spelling of Medieval names is a result of the lack of spelling rules in the English language prior to the last few hundred years. Before that time, scribes spelled according to sound, often varying the spelling of name within a single document. Moffat has appeared as Moffatt, Maffat, Maffett, Maffet, Moffat, Moffet, Moffett, Moffert, Moffertt, Moffit, Moffitt, Merphet, Merphett, Merfet, Merfett, Murphat, Murphatt, Murphet, Murphett, Muffat, Muffatt, Muffett, Muffet, Muffit and many more.

First found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, at Annandale where the first on record was Nicholas de Mufet who began his life as a simple cleric and was first recorded as witness to a charter by Walter, bishop of Glasgow, some time before 1232. Approximately twenty years later, in 1250, he was made Archdeacon of Theuidale and eventually, in 1268, he was made Bishop of Glasgow. After only two years of holding the position of bishop, he died, in the year 1270.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moffat research. Another 221 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1348, 1467, 1553, 1604, 1795, 1883, 1815, 1870 and are included under the topic Early Moffat History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 125 words(9 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Moffat Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Moffat family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 127 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


As the persecution of Clan families continued, they sailed for North America in increasing numbers. In most cases, they found the freedom and opportunity they sought. Land was often available and the American War of Independence allowed Scots an opportunity to solidify their independence from the English crown. These settlers and their ancestors went on to play essential roles in the forging of the nations of the United States and Canada. Among them:

Moffat Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Jean Moffat who settled in New Jersey in 1685
  • Jean Moffat, who landed in Connecticut in 1688

Moffat Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Spencer Moffat, who arrived in America in 1802
  • William Moffat, aged 40, landed in Tennessee in 1812
  • Henry Moffat, aged 55, arrived in New York, NY in 1812
  • Patrick Moffat, aged 30, landed in New York, NY in 1812
  • Richard Moffat, aged 18, arrived in New York, NY in 1812

Moffat Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Michael Moffat, aged 27, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo
  • Betsy Moffat, aged 20, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo

Moffat Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Mary Moffat, aged 24, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Fortune"

Moffat Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Cecilia Moffat, aged 22, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Zealandia" in 1879
  • J. Moffat arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "British Empire" in 1880


  • David Halliday Moffat (1839-1911), American financier and industrialist
  • Jay Pierrepont Moffat (1896-1943), American diplomat
  • Anne Moffat (b. 1958), Scottish politician
  • Robert Moffat (1795-1883), Scottish Congregationalist missionary to Africa
  • Adam John William Moffat (b. 1986), Scottish footballer
  • Steven Moffat (b. 1961), Scottish multiple BAFTA winning television writer and producer
  • Martin Moffat (1884-1946), Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • John Moffat, Professor Emeritus in physics at the University of Toronto
  • Allan George Moffat OBE (b. 1939), Canadian-born, Australian racing driver
  • James Moffat (1870-1944), Scottish/American theologian



  • Story of Blooming Grove and the Tribe of Samuel by Hector Moffat.
  • A Moffat Family Record by Abbott Low Moffat.
  • The Moffit (also Moffat) Family by Lorraine Moffat.

Moffat Clan Badge
Moffat Clan Badge

Buy JPG Image

A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...


Septs of the Distinguished Name Moffat
Meffatt, Meffet, Moffat, Moffatt, Moffot, Mwffett and more.


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  1. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  3. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  4. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  7. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  8. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  9. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  10. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  11. ...

The Moffat Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Moffat 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 20 February 2015 at 14:53.

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