Show ContentsMurphey 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 Murphey is O Murchadha or Mac Murchadha, which are both derived from the word "murchadh," meaning "sea warrior."

Early Origins of the Murphey family

The surname Murphey 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 Murphey family

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

Murphey Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Murphey were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Murphy, Morchoe, O'Murphy, Murfie, Murfree, Morfie, Morfey and many more.

Early Notables of the Murphey family (pre 1700)

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

Murphey Ranking

In the United States, the name Murphey is the 6,025th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]

United States Murphey migration to the United States +

A massive amount of Ireland's native population left the island in the 19th century for North America and Australia in hopes of finding more opportunities and an escape from discrimination and oppression. A great portion of these migrants arrived on the eastern shores of the North American continent. Although they were generally poor and destitute, and, therefore, again discriminated against, these Irish people were heartily welcomed for the hard labor involved in the construction of railroads, canals, roadways, and buildings. Many others were put to work in the newly established factories or agricultural projects that were so essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest nations in the world. The Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s initiated the largest wave of Iris immigration. Early North American immigration and passenger lists have revealed a number of people bearing the name Murphey or a variant listed above:

Murphey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edmund Murphey, who landed in Virginia in 1723 [2]
  • Thomas Murphey, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763 [2]
  • Esther Murphey, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773 [2]
  • William Murphey, aged 25, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1777 [2]
Murphey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Patrick Murphey, who arrived in America in 1808 [2]
  • Edward Murphey, aged 55, who arrived in Tennessee in 1812 [2]
  • James Murphey, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [2]
  • John Murphey, aged 22, who landed in New York, NY in 1852 [2]
  • Daniel Murphey, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Murphey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Murphey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Archibald Murphey U.E. who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 member of the Penobscot Association [3]

New Zealand Murphey 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:

Murphey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Matilda Murphey, aged 16, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Jessie Readman" in 1872 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Murphey (post 1700) +

  • Peter Murphey, American officer in the Confederate States Navy during the U.S. Civil War
  • Todd Murphey (b. 1977), American mixed martial artist
  • Ryan Murphey, American Grammy-nominated music producer, songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist
  • Christopher Murphey, American writer and producer
  • Charles Murphey (1799-1861), American lawyer and politician
  • Brad Murphey (b. 1955), former American-born Australian racecar driver
  • Cecil “Cec” Murphey (b. 1933), American writer
  • Jason Murphey, American Republican politician from Oklahoma [5]
  • Archibald DeBow Murphey (1777-1832), American North Carolina politician
  • Michael Martin Murphey (b. 1945), American singer-songwriter

The Murphey 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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  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2011, August 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook