Morphy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many of the oldest Irish surnames were originally in the Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Morphy is O Murchadha or Mac Murchadha, which are both derived from the word "murchadh," meaning "sea warrior."

Early Origins of the Morphy family

The surname Morphy was first found in County Wexford (Irish: Loch Garman), founded by Vikings as Waesfjord, and located in Southeastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Early History of the Morphy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Morphy research. Another 96 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1127, 1172, 1650, 1716 and 1798 are included under the topic Early Morphy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Morphy Spelling Variations

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Morphy that are preserved in archival documents are Murphy, Morchoe, O'Murphy, Murfie, Murfree, Morfie, Morfey and many more.

Early Notables of the Morphy family (pre 1700)

Another 32 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Morphy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Morphy family

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Morphy to North America: Dennis Murphy, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1766; Abraham Murphy, who settled in Maryland in 1674; Daniel Murphy, who came to Maryland in 1678; Ann Murphy, who settled in Philadelphia in 1773.


Contemporary Notables of the name Morphy (post 1700) +

  • Paul Charles Morphy (1837-1884), American unofficial World Chess Champion
  • George Newcomen Morphy, British athlete of the 1908 Summer Olympics


The Morphy 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: Fortis et hospitalis
Motto Translation: Brave and hospitable.


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