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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


The Pictish clans of ancient Scotland were the ancestors of the first people to use the name Moray. It comes from in the county of Moray in the northeast of Scotland, but some historians describe the Clan's forbears as originally Flemish, some as Lowland Scots. More enlightened research places them as descendents of MacAngus de Moravia, who was descended from King Duncan of Scotland and who was the first Earl of Murray.

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The surname Moray was first found in Moray, where the Clan founder, Freskin, received a grant of the lands of Strathbrock in 1100 AD. He was descended from the first Earl, and his grandson, William, married the heiress of the Bothwell Clan in Lanarkshire. His sons founded many other houses, including the Murrays of Tullibardine, who later became the Dukes of Atholl, and Chiefs of the Clan. At the same time, an early branch in the north had given origin to the Earls of Sutherland.

Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Moray has appeared Murray, Murrey, Moray, Morey, Morrey, Morry, Murry and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Moray research. Another 1191 words (85 lines of text) covering the years 1203, 1170, 1100, 1255, 1297, 1320, 1333, 1360, 1629, 1703, 1446, 1586, 1598, 1598, 1715, 1745, 1765, 1608, 1673, 1660, 1724, 1600, 1655, 1631, 1703, 1640, 1650, 1716, 1691, 1701, 1663, 1719, 1710, 1715, 1663, 1734 and are included under the topic Early Moray History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 243 words (17 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Moray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Moray family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Moray name:

Moray Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John Moray, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • Louise Moray, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1946
  • James Stewart Moray (1531-1570), regent of Scotland


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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: Tout PrÍt
Motto Translation: Quite ready.

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  1. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  4. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  9. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Moray Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Moray 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 19 October 2015 at 16:21.

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