Moffett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Moffett was first used in the Scottish/English Borderlands by an ancient Scottish people called the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name for someone who 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 Moffett means, from the long field.

Early Origins of the Moffett family

The surname Moffett was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn 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.

Early History of the Moffett family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moffett research. Another 110 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1348, 1467, 1553, 1604, 1553, 1604, 1795, 1883, 1815 and 1870 are included under the topic Early Moffett History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Moffett Spelling Variations

The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Moffett has been spelled 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.

Early Notables of the Moffett family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Thomas Muffet (also Moufet, Mouffet, or Moffet) (1553-1604), an English naturalist and physician, best known for his Puritan beliefs, his study of insects in regard to medicine; and Robert Moffat (1795-1883). Starting off as a gardener, he decided to become a missionary...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Moffett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Moffett family to Ireland

Some of the Moffett family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 70 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Moffett migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainties and discrimination faced in Scotland, many decided to head out for North America. Once they arrived, many Scots fought with relish in the American War of Independence; some went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Many ancestors of these Scots have recovered their lost national heritage in the 20th century through Clan organizations and Scottish historical societies. Among the settlers to North America were:

Moffett Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Samuel Moffett, who settled in Virginia in 1772
Moffett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Elizabeth Moffett, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [1]
  • Martha Moffett, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [1]
  • James Moffett, who arrived in New York in 1822 [1]
  • John Moffett, who landed in New York in 1822 [1]
  • Samuel Moffett, who landed in Maryland in 1832 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Moffett migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Moffett Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Moffett was a soldier in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1819 [2]

Australia Moffett migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Moffett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Priscilla Moffett, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1840 [3]
  • Selina Moffett, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1840 [3]

New Zealand Moffett migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Moffett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Moffett, British farm labourer travelling from London aboard the ship "Himalaya" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 10th February 1867 [4]
  • Mr. John Moffett, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Light Brigade" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th August 1868 [4]
  • Mr. Moffett, British settler travelling from London with family aboard the ship "Light Brigade" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th August 1868 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Moffett (post 1700) +

  • David McKenzie Moffett (b. 1952), American businessman and was formerly the CEO of Freddie Mac
  • Anthony John "Toby" Moffett Jr. (1944-1975), American former politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Connecticut (1975-1983)
  • William Adger Moffett (1869-1933), American admiral, Medal of Honor recipient, best known as the architect of naval aviation in the United States Navy, eponym of the Moffett Federal Airfield, Sunnyvale, California and Mount Moffett, Alaska and the USS Moffett (DD-362), a Porter-class destroyer
  • Sharyn Moffett (b. 1936), American child actress, known for her work on Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), The Body Snatcher (1945) and Child of Divorce (1946)
  • Donald Warren "D. W." Moffett (b. 1954), American Screen Actors Guild Award winning actor, known for Switched at Birth (2011), Falling Down (1993) and Traffic (2000)
  • Samuel Hugh Moffett (1916-2015), Korean-born, American Professor Emeritus at the Princeton Theological Seminary
  • Judith Moffett (b. 1942), American author, recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction (1988)
  • Charnett Moffett (b. 1967), American jazz bassist, son of Charles
  • Charles Moffett (1929-1997), American free jazz drummer
  • Charles L. Moffett, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Union County, 1904 [5]
  • ... (Another 28 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ORLEANA 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Orleana.htm
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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