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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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.

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The surname Moffett was 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.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moffett research. Another 221 words (16 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.

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Another 181 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Moffett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Moffett 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.

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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 settled in Virginia in 1772

Moffett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Elizabeth Moffett, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • Martha Moffett, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812
  • James Moffett, who arrived in New York in 1822
  • John Moffett, who landed in New York in 1822
  • Samuel Moffett, who landed in Maryland in 1832


Moffett Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • William Moffett was a soldier in St. John's, Newfoundland in 1819

Moffett Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Priscilla Moffett arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1840
  • Selina Moffett arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1840

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  • 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
  • D. G. Moffett, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1944

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  1. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  2. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  3. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  6. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  7. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Moffett Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Moffett 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 11 December 2015 at 14:32.

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