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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Moorehead is an ancient Scottish name that was first used by the Strathclyde-Briton people of the Scottish/English Borderlands. It is a name for someone who lived in Lanark, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages.


The surname Moorehead was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow. Today, Muirhead is a small suburb of Glasgow, about 7 miles North-East of the city center.

Prior to the first dictionaries, scribes spelled words according to sound. This, and the fact that Scottish names were repeatedly translated from Gaelic to English and back, contributed to the enormous number of spelling variations in Scottish names. Moorehead has been spelled Muirhead, Morehead, Moorhead, Moorehead, Murehead and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moorehead research. Another 201 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1401 and 1491 are included under the topic Early Moorehead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


More information is included under the topic Early Moorehead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Moorehead family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


In such difficult times, the difficulties of raising the money to cross the Atlantic to North America did not seem so large compared to the problems of keeping a family together in Scotland. It was a journey well worth the cost, since it was rewarded with land and freedom the Scots could not find at home. The American War of Independence solidified that freedom, and many of those settlers went on to play important parts in the forging of a great nation. Among them:

Moorehead Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Samuel Moorehead, who arrived in Maryland in 1662

Moorehead Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Charles Moorehead, who arrived in Virginia in 1705

Moorehead Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Moorehead, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823
  • James Moorehead, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824
  • John Moorehead, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1830
  • J Moorehead, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • J M Moorehead, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • ...

Moorehead Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Edward Moorehead, aged 29, a farm labourer, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Rimutaka" in 1886

  • Frederick B. Moorehead (1875-1944), Dean of the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry (1913-1924)
  • John Alston Moorehead (1882-1931), American head football coach for Western University of Pennsylvania
  • Tom Van Horn Moorehead (1898-1979), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio (1961-1963)
  • Kindal Jerome Moorehead (b. 1978), American NFL football defensive tackle
  • Warren King Moorehead (1866-1939), American archaeologist, known as the "Dean of American archaeology", eponym of the Moorehead Phase and the Moorehead Circle
  • Emery Moorehead (b. 1954), American NFL football player who played from 1977 through 1988
  • Agnes Robertson Moorehead (1900-1974), American Primetime Emmy Award and two-time Golden Globe Award winning film and television actress, best known for her role as Endora on the television series Bewitched
  • Aaron Moorehead. (b. 1980), American football player
  • Monica Moorehead (b. 1952), American politician
  • Caroline Moorehead OBE (b. 1944), English human rights journalist and biographer
  • ...

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Auxilio Dei
Motto Translation: By the help of God.


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    Other References

    1. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. 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. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
    4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    5. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
    8. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    9. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
    10. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
    11. ...

    The Moorehead Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Moorehead 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 8 June 2014 at 22:22.

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