Murdock History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first families to use the name Murdock lived in ancient Scotland in the kingdom of Dalriada. The name was then used as a nickname for a person associated with the sea. The name Murdock derives from one of two Gaelic names which have become indistinguishable from each other. The first of these, Muireach, means belonging to the sea or a mariner. The second name is Murchadh, which means sea warrior. [1]

Early Origins of the Murdock family

The surname Murdock was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from early times.

"Murdac was Dean of Appleby, Westmorland, 1175. Walter Murdac, Morthaich, or Murdoch was a person of prominence in the reign of William the Lion and figures as witness in several charters and other Murthacs or Murdaks are mentioned about the same time and in the following century. Murdoch, second duke of Albany, executed in 1425, is referred to in English records as: Mordac, Mordake, Mordik, Mordoc, Mordok, Mordyk, Moreduc, Mourdac, and Murthak. William Murdoch (1754-1839), inventor of gas-lighting, was proclaimed a deity by Nassred-din, Shah of Persia, who believed him to be a re-incarnation of Merodach or Marduk, 'god of light.' " [1]

In England, "Robert filius Murdac, and ' one Meurdoch ' occur in Domesday [Book of 1086.]" [2] Another source notes that in Yorkshire, "Murdac, Murdoc, Meurdoch were all listed in the Domesday Book. And this source notes the name was "introduced into Yorkshire before the Conquest by Norwegians from Ireland." [3]

In early rolls the name appeared as a forename and surname: Mariedoc Bohhan in the Pipe Rolls for Shropshire in 1160; Geoffrey Murdac in the Pipe Rolls for Yorkshire in 1130; Roger Murdac in the Pipe Rolls for Staffordshire in 1182; Ralph Murdac in Derbyshire in 1197; Sibilla Murdac in the Pipe Rolls for Gloucestershire in 1199; and Nicholas Murdoc in Berkshire. [3]

Another source confirms that Murdac, was Dean of Appleby, 32 Henry II (during the 32nd year of King Henry III's reign) [4] and Murdac de Gunton was listed in Warwickshire and Leicestershire, Henry III- Edward I [5]

Early History of the Murdock family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murdock research. Another 160 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1175, 1214, 1296, 1420, 1680 and are included under the topic Early Murdock History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Murdock Spelling Variations

In various documents Murdock has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. Murdock, Murdoch, Murtoch, Murtough and others.

Early Notables of the Murdock family (pre 1700)

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

Murdock Ranking

In the United States, the name Murdock is the 1,343rd most popular surname with an estimated 22,383 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Murdock family to Ireland

Some of the Murdock 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 Murdock migration to the United States +

Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Murdock family emigrate to North America:

Murdock Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Peter Murdock, who arrived in Virginia in 1706 [7]
  • Jeremiah Murdock, who settled in Virginia in 1726
  • William Murdock, who arrived in Oxford, Maryland in 1747 [7]
  • Alexander, Anne, Elizabeth, Hamilton, James, John, Margaret, Mary, Sarah, and William Murdock all, who settled in Charles Town Carolina in 1763
  • James Murdock, aged 31, who arrived in New York, NY in 1774 [7]
Murdock Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Murdock, aged 26, who arrived in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1805 [7]
  • Sarah Murdock, aged 45, who arrived in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1805 [7]
  • Esther Murdock, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1811 [7]
  • M Anne Murdock, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1811 [7]
  • Philip Murdock, aged 27, who landed in New York in 1812 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Murdock migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Murdock Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Findley Murdock U.E., (Finley, Murdoch) who settled in Canada c. 1784 [8]
Murdock Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ann Murdock, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1833

Australia Murdock migration to Australia +

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

Murdock Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Murdock, (b. 1779), aged 44, British Convict who was convicted in Barbados for life , transported aboard the "Commodore Hayes" in April 1823, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • Mr. George Murdock, British Convict who was convicted in Kent, England for life, transported aboard the "Asia" on 20th July 1837, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • Mr. William Murdock, British Convict who was convicted in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada for 14 years, transported aboard the "Candahar" on 26th March 1842, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [11]
  • Miss Jane Murdock, (Murdock, Jean) who was convicted in Glasgow, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Cadet" on 4th September 1847, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [12]
  • James Murdock, aged 48, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Sultana" [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Murdock 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:

Murdock Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Marion Murdock, aged 39, a grocer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Murdock (post 1700) +

  • Ian Ashley Murdock (1973-2015), German-born American software engineer, known for being the founder of the Debian project
  • Judy Murdock, American Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Award nominated makeup artist, known for her work on I Am Legend (2007), I, Robot (2004) and The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
  • Jack Murdock (1922-2001), American actor, known for his work in Rain Man (1988), Altered States (1980) and Blue Thunder (1983)
  • George Murdock (1930-2012), American actor, known for his work in The X Files (1998), Orange County (2002) and Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
  • James Murdock (1931-1981), born David Lee Baker, an American actor, known for his roles in Rawhide (1959), The Godfather: Part II (1974) and Some of My Best Friends Are (1971)
  • Orenthal James "O. J." Murdock (1987-2012), American football wide receiver
  • Ann Murdock (1890-1939), born Irene Coleman, early American stage and silent film actress
  • Forrest G. Murdock, founding president of El Camino College, eponym of Murdock Stadium
  • John R. Murdock (1885-1972), U.S. Representative from Arizona
  • John Murdock (1792-1871), Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionary, first mission president for the LDS Church in Australia
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Thomas D. Murdock, American Chief Yeoman working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Melvin Elijah Murdock, American Water Tender Second Class from Alabama, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [14]
  • Mr. Charles Luther Murdock, American Water Tender First Class from Alabama, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [14]


The Murdock 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: Omine secundo
Motto Translation: With favourable omen.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
  6. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  9. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 4th March 2021, retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/commodore-hayes)
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th February 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1837
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/candahar
  12. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/cadet/
  13. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SULTANA 1851. Retrieved http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1851Sultana.htm
  14. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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