Show ContentsMorehead History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The first people to use the name Morehead were a family of Strathclyde-Britons who lived in the Scottish/English Borderlands. The name comes from when someone 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 Morehead family

The surname Morehead 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 Morehead family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morehead 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 Morehead History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Morehead Spelling Variations

Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Morehead has appeared as Muirhead, Morehead, Moorhead, Moorehead, Murehead and others.

Early Notables of the Morehead 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 Morehead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Morehead Ranking

In the United States, the name Morehead is the 3,586th most popular surname with an estimated 7,461 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Morehead family to Ireland

Some of the Morehead 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 Morehead migration to the United States +

The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them:

Morehead Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Charles Morehead, who arrived in Virginia in 1630 [6]
Morehead Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anne Morehead, who landed in New York, NY in 1817 [6]
  • John Morehead, aged 32, who landed in Newport, Rhode Island in 1821 [6]
  • Margaret Morehead, aged 25, who arrived in Newport, Rhode Island in 1821 [6]
  • Robert Morehead, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1878 [6]
  • J. M. Morehead, aged 26, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1897
Morehead Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mary Morehead, who settled in America, in 1903
  • Mrs. Jro L Morehead, who landed in America, in 1903
  • Mrs. John L. Morehead, aged 35, who immigrated to the United States, in 1905
  • John Motley Morehead, who landed in America, in 1907
  • Jane I. Morehead, aged 50, who landed in America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Morehead (post 1700) +

  • Turner Gustavus Morehead (1814-1892), American officer in the Mexican American War and American Civil War, Brigadier General in the Union Army
  • Jere W. Morehead, American academic, 22nd and current President of the University of Georgia
  • Elizabeth Morehead, American actress, known for her roles in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003), One World (1998) and Quints (2000)
  • Charles Slaughter Morehead (1802-1868), American politician, U.S. Representative from Kentucky, the 20th Governor of Kentucky
  • James Turner Morehead (1799-1875), American politician, Congressional Representative from North Carolina
  • James Turner Morehead (1797-1854), American politician, United States Senator, the 12th Governor of Kentucky
  • Seth Marvin "Moe" Morehead (1934-2006), American Major League Baseball left-handed specialist reliever who played from 1957 to 1961
  • James B. Morehead (b. 1916), American Ace fighter pilot from of World War II, inductee into the American Combat Airman Hall of Fame
  • John Motley Morehead (1796-1866), American politician, 29th Governor of the North Carolina (1841 to 1845)
  • John Motley Morehead III (1870-1965), American chemist, U.S. ambassador to Sweden, and noted philanthropist
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Morehead 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.

Suggested Readings for the name Morehead +

  • Muirheid Family Record by Nola M. Karr.
  • Tree Top Baby: A Family Tree of Moorhead by Susan Moorhead-Nunes.

  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) on Facebook