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

Early Origins of the Murphree family

The surname Murphree 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.

Important Dates for the Murphree family

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

Murphree Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Murphree 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 Murphree family (pre 1700)

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

Murphree migration to the United States

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute do to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United Sates and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Murphree family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Murphree Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Ida Murphree, aged 32, who arrived in New York in 1909 aboard the ship "Caledonia" from Glasgow, Scotland [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Murphree (post 1700)

  • Albert Alexander Murphree (1870-1927), American college professor and university president
  • Thomas Alexander Murphree (1883-1945), United States federal jurist, Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (1938-1945)
  • Eger Vaughan Murphree (1898-1962), American chemist, best known for his co-invention of the process of fluid catalytic cracking, recipient of the Perkin Medal in 1950
  • Dennis Herron Murphree (1886-1949), American politician from Mississippi, two-time Lieutenant Governor

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  1. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch ( : 6 December 2014), Ida Murphree, 18 Jul 1909; citing departure port Glasgow, arrival port New York, ship name Caledonia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
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