Murfin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name of Murfin is Celtic in origin, arising from the ancient Britons of Wales. The name's specific origins were derived from the Welsh personal name Mervin, which originally took the form Merlin. The magician Merlin plays an important role in Arthurian legend and is given the attributes of a Celtic druid. He figures prominently in early Welsh writings, and the first full-fledged treatment of him is given in the Libellus Merlini (Little Book of Merlin), a Latin tract written by Geoffrey of Monmouth c. 1135.
Early Origins of the Murfin family
The surname Murfin was first found in Wiltshire, where this distinguished Welsh family claim descent from Mervyn Vrych, (Merfyn Frych 'Merfyn the Freckled', Merfyn ap Gwriad 'Merfyn son of Gwriad', Merfyn Camwri 'Merfyn the Oppressor') an 11th century Lord of Anglesey, who settled in Wiltshire on the English Welsh border. He is thought to have died around 844 and was King of Gwynedd from around 825 to his death. He came from a long line of nobility.
Llywelyn ap Merfyn (died 942) was King of Powys, son of Merfyn ap Rhodri, and grandson of Rhodri the Great. His father, Merfyn ap Rhodri (died c.900) was also King of Powis (878-900.) Mystery surrounds his death. Some believe he died due to the incursion into Anglesey by the Viking Ingimundr. Others believe he lost his realm to an invasion by his brother Cadell, King of Ceredigion.
All trace back to Rhodri ap Merfyn (c. 820-878), later known as Rhodri the Great (Welsh: Rhodri Mawr), who succeeded his father, Merfyn Frych, as King of Gwynedd in 844. He is referred to "King of the Britons" by the Annals of Ulster and later as the "King of Wales."
Early History of the Murfin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Murfin research. Another 39 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1799, 1603, 1675, 1661 and 1666 are included under the topic Early Murfin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Murfin Spelling Variations
Welsh surnames are relatively few in number, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. There are many factors that explain the preponderance of Welsh variants, but the earliest is found during the Middle Ages when Welsh surnames came into use. Scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, which often resulted in a single person's name being inconsistently recorded over his lifetime. The transliteration of Welsh names into English also accounts for many of the spelling variations: the unique Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh had many sounds the English language was incapable of accurately reproducing. It was also common for members of a same surname to change their names slightly, in order to signify a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations. For all of these reasons, the many spelling variations of particular Welsh names are very important. The surname Murfin has occasionally been spelled Mervyn, Mervin, Mervyng, Merwin and others.
Early Notables of the Murfin family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Murfin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Murfin family to Ireland
Some of the Murfin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Murfin migration to the United States +
The Welsh migration to North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries contributed greatly to its rapid development. These migrants were in search of land, work, and freedom. Those Welsh families that survived the long ocean journey were critical to the development of new industries and factories, and to the quick settlement of land. They also added to an ever-growing rich cultural heritage. A search of the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Murfin:
Murfin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Griffin Murfin, who landed in Virginia in 1634 
- Robert Murfin, who landed in New Jersey in 1677-1678 
Murfin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- John Murfin, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1840 
Murfin 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:
Murfin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- John Murfin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
- Sarah Murfin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
- Mary Ann Murfin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
- Martha Keziah Murfin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Andrew Jackson" in 1865
Contemporary Notables of the name Murfin (post 1700) +
- Orin Gould Murfin (1876-1956), American admiral in the United States Navy, Commander of the Albany in 1916, Concord, 1923-1925 and of West Virginia, 1928-1929, Commander-in-Chief, Asiatic Fleet 1935-1936
- Jane Murfin (1884-1955), born Jane Macklem, an American Academy Award nominated playwright and screenwriter
- Muff Murfin, British music executive, founder and CEO of Murfin Music International and Murfin Media, Worcestershire, England
Historic Events for the Murfin family +
- Mr. Sydney Murfin, British Corporal, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking 
Related Stories +
The Murfin 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: De Dieu tout
Motto Translation: From God everything.
- ^ 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)
- ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html