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

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

The ancient Scottish name Moffitt was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. The original bearer of the name 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 Moffitt means, from the long field.


Spelling and translation were hardly exact sciences in Medieval Scotland. Sound, rather than any set of rules, was the basis for spellings, so one name was often spelled different ways even within a single document. Spelling variations are thus an extremely common occurrence in Medieval Scottish names. Moffitt 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moffitt 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 Moffitt History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Moffitt 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.


Such hard times forced many to leave their homeland in search of opportunity across the Atlantic. Many of these families settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. The ancestors of many of these families have rediscovered their roots in the 20th century through the establishment of Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Among them:

Moffitt Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Moffitt, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1808
  • William Moffitt, who landed in Maryland in 1809
  • Robert Moffitt settled in Philadelphia in 1811
  • Julia Moffitt, aged 25, landed in New York in 1817
  • Alexander Moffitt, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1820

Moffitt Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Nancy Moffitt, aged 35, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Robert Moffitt, aged 3, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • Margaret Moffitt, aged 2, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833
  • John Moffitt, aged 6 months, arrived in Saint John, NB aboard the ship "Billow" in 1833

Moffitt Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Ellen Moffitt, aged 39, a cook, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874
  • Mary Moffitt, aged 30, a servant, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Oxford" in 1874


  • Billie Jean Moffitt (b. 1943), birth name of American tennis player, Billie Jean King
  • Hosea Moffitt (1757-1825), U.S. Representative from New York
  • Jefferson Moffitt (1887-1954), American screenwriter and film director
  • Randall "Randy" James Moffitt (b. 1948), retired American Major League Baseball pitcher
  • John Moffitt, American Emmy Award winning television director
  • Tom Moffitt (1884-1945), American track and field athlete who competed at the 1908 Summer Olympics
  • John Moffitt (b. 1980), American silver medalist long jumper at the 2004 Summer Olympics
  • John Moffitt (b. 1986), American NFL football offensive guard for the Seattle Seahawks
  • John Henry Moffitt (1843-1926), United States Representative from New York and the recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions during the Civil War
  • Ernest Moffitt (1871-1899), Australian artist



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  1. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. 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. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  8. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Moffitt Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Moffitt 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 18 July 2015 at 16:40.

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