Show ContentsMoorehead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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 name denotes "one who came from Muirhead (end of the moor)the name of several places in Scotland; dweller at the end of the marsh." [1] [2] [3]

Early Origins of the Moorehead family

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.

The name originates "from one or other of the many localities of the name in the southern counties, perhaps from Muirhead in the barony of Rothwell. The lands and town of Mureheid in the diocese of Ross are mentioned in 1576, but the surname is not likely to have originated there. The first of the name in record is said to have been Sir William Muirhead of Lachope, end of fourteenth century. Probably the same person as William de Murehede who witnessed a charter of lands of Cranshaws in 1401." [4]

Early History of the Moorehead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moorehead research. Another 221 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1401, 1432, 1471, 1484, 1491, 1484, 1504, 1507, 1527, 1668, 1624, 1691, 1620, 1513, 1503, 1498, 1577, 1484, 1493, 1522, 1742, 1808, 1742, 1831, 1889, 1831, 1854, 1857, 1862, 1637, 1692, 1637, 1670, 1805, 1863, 1805, 1825, 1828, 1807, 1882, 1807 and are included under the topic Early Moorehead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Moorehead Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Moorehead family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was James Muirhead (1742-1808), Scottish song-writer, son of Muirhead of Logan (representing an ancient family), was born in 1742 in the parish of Buittle, Kirkcudbrightshire. James Muirhead (1831-1889), jurist, son of Claud Muirhead of Gogan Park, Midlothian, proprietor of the 'Edinburgh Advertiser,' born in 1831, was admitted on 31 Oct. 1854 a member of the Inner Temple, where he was called to the bar on 6 June 1857, being admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates the same year. In 1862 he was elected to the chair of civil law in the university...
Another 172 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Moorehead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Moorehead Ranking

In the United States, the name Moorehead is the 5,773rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Moorehead family to Ireland

Some of the Moorehead family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Moorehead migration to the United States +

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 [6]
Moorehead Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Moorehead, who arrived in Virginia in 1705 [6]
Moorehead Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Moorehead, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1823 [6]
  • James Moorehead, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824 [6]
  • John Moorehead, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1830 [6]
  • J Moorehead, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • J M Moorehead, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Moorehead 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:

Moorehead Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Moorehead, aged 29, a farm labourer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "S. S. Rimutaka" in 1886

Contemporary Notables of the name Moorehead (post 1700) +

  • 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 [7]
  • Aaron Moorehead. (b. 1980), American football player
  • Monica Moorehead (b. 1952), American politician
  • Caroline Moorehead OBE (b. 1944), English human rights journalist and biographer
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Moorehead Motto +

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.

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Sims, Clifford Stanley The Origin and Signification of Scottish Surnames. 1862. Print.
  3. Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  4. 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)
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. Agnes Moorehead. (Retrieved 2010, September 27) Agnes Moorehead. Retrieved from on Facebook