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

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

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 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.

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.


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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, 1795, 1883, 1815, 1870 and are included under the topic Early Moffett History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 125 words(9 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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  • Charles Moffett (1929-1997), American free jazz drummer
  • Charnett Moffett (b. 1967), American jazz bassist, son of Charles
  • Donald Warren "D. W." Moffett (b. 1954), American actor
  • Judith Moffett (b. 1942), American author, recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction (1988)
  • Sharyn Moffett (b. 1936), American child actress
  • William Adger Moffett (1869-1933), American admiral, best known as the architect of naval aviation in the United States Navy
  • Samuel Hugh Moffett (1916-2015), Korean-born, American Professor Emeritus at the Princeton Theological Seminary
  • David Moffett (b. 1957), English-born, Australian CEO of Australia's National Rugby League (1999 to 2001)
  • Georgia Elizabeth Moffett (b. 1984), English actress
  • Peter Moffett (b. 1951), English actor who uses the stage name Peter Davison, best known for his role in Doctor Who (1982 to 1984)

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  1. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  2. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  3. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  4. 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.
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  7. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  9. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  10. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  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 12 February 2015 at 10:42.

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