Moorhead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A family of Strathclyde-Briton were the first to use the name Moorhead. They lived in Lanark, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Moorhead family

The surname Moorhead 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.

Early History of the Moorhead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moorhead research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1401 and 1491 are included under the topic Early Moorhead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Moorhead Spelling Variations

In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Moorhead has appeared as Muirhead, Morehead, Moorhead, Moorehead, Murehead and others.

Early Notables of the Moorhead family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Moorhead family to Ireland

Some of the Moorhead 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 Moorhead migration to the United States +

The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. Among them:

Moorhead Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Bartholomy Moorhead, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [1]
Moorhead Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Campbell Moorhead, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1810 [1]
  • John Moorhead, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [1]
  • Samuel Moorhead, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [1]
  • Rebecca Moorhead, aged 21, who landed in New York, NY in 1821 [1]
  • Robinson Moorhead, who arrived in New York in 1830 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Moorhead Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Annie Moorhead, aged 22, who immigrated to America from Glasgow, in 1900
  • Cath Moorhead, aged 28, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1901
  • Elizh Moorhead, aged 16, who settled in America from Glasgow, in 1901
  • Charles Moorhead, aged 21, who landed in America from Tyrone, Ireland, in 1907
  • Arthur Henry Moorhead, aged 35, who landed in America from London, England, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Moorhead migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Moorhead Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Jane Moorhead, (Moorehead, Brien, Morehead), (b. 1820), aged 31, Irish laundress who was convicted in Wicklow, Ireland for 15 years for arson, transported aboard the "Blackfriar" on 24th January 1851, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [2]

New Zealand Moorhead 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:

Moorhead Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Moorhead, (b. 1860), aged 9 months, British settler travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1860 [3]
  • Mr. David Moorhead, (b. 1839), aged 21, British farm labourer travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1860 [3]
  • Mrs. Mary Anne Moorhead, (b. 1840), aged 20, British settler travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Matoaka" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1860 [3]
  • Mr. Michael Moorhead, (b. 1836), aged 25, Irish farm labourer, from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 [4]
  • Miss Mary A. Moorhead, (b. 1840), aged 21, Irish domestic servant, from County Down travelling from London aboard the ship "Sebastopol" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th December 1861 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Moorhead (post 1700) +

  • James Kennedy Moorhead (1806-1884), Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Jean Moorhead (b. 1936), American actress and model
  • William Singer Moorhead (1923-1987), Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Don Moorhead (b. 1948), retired American football player
  • Carlos John Moorhead (b. 1922), United States Congressman
  • Ethel Moorhead (1870-1955), British suffragette and artist
  • The Rt Rev William Henry Moorhead DD (1882-1962), Irish-born, Canadian fourth Bishop of Fredericton, New Brunswick
  • Evan Robert Moorhead (b. 1978), Australian politician
  • Sherman Moorhead Granger (b. 1870), American Republican politician, Member of Republican National Committee from Ohio, 1912-16; Member of Ohio Republican State Central Committee, 1912-14 [5]


The Moorhead 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. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/blackfriar
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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