Show ContentsMotherwell History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Motherwell family

The surname Motherwell was first found in Cheshire at Mobberley, a parish, in the union of Altrincham, hundred of Bucklow. [1] [2] The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was first listed as Motburlege and literally meant "clearing at the fortification where meetings are held," from the Old English "mot" + "burh" + "leah." [3]

Moberly was held by Bigot de Loges at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book and conjecturally, the family name is descended from this ancient Norman Baron. St Wilfrid's Church, Mobberley traces it's origin to the oldest part of the church dating about 1245.

Early records revealed Patrick de Mobberley founded an Augustinian priory here in 1206 in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Wilfrid, but the priory only existed for a short time. During a restoration in 1888, remains of a Saxon church were also found. Nearby, Mobberley Old Hall is a country house that dates back to 1612.

One of the first records of the family was Patrick Moberlegh who was listed in East Cheshire c. 1220. Almost one hundred years later, William de Modburlegh was listed in Cheshire in 1308. [4] Ralph de Modberleg was listed in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire in 1260. [5]

Early History of the Motherwell family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Motherwell research. Another 85 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1565, 1568, 1585 and 1756 are included under the topic Early Motherwell History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Motherwell Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Moberley, Mobberley, Mobeley, Mobdurley, Mobley and others.

Early Notables of the Motherwell family (pre 1700)

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

United States Motherwell migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Motherwell Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Motherwell, who was naturalized in Fairfield County, Ohio in 1868

Canada Motherwell migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Motherwell Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Motherwell, who settled in Canada in 1818
  • Thomas Motherwell, who settled in Ontario in 1871

Contemporary Notables of the name Motherwell (post 1700) +

  • Robert Burns Motherwell (1915-1991), American painter
  • Winifred Motherwell, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 2004 [6]
  • William Richard Motherwell (1860-1943), Canadian politician
  • William Motherwell (1797-1835), Scottish collector of ballads
  • Thomas Motherwell Preble (1810-1907), American Free Will Baptist minister in New Hampshire and a Millerite preacher

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 8) . Retrieved from on Facebook