Continuing Research

Notables Added the last 12 months
FREE SHIPPING on orders of $85 or more
An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Scottish

The ancestors of the Worthy family come from the ancient Scottish kingdom of Dalriada. The family name comes from the personal name Murdo. The Gaelic form of the surname was Mac Mhurchaidh, meaning son of Murdo. The name Murdo is equivalent to Murdock, and means sea warrior.


The surname Worthy was first found in south Uist, in the Outer Hebrides (Gaelic: Na h-Eileanan Siar), in the present day Council Area of Western Isles, a region controlled by the Norwegians prior to the Treaty of Perth in 1266, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.

Historical recordings of the name Worthy include many spelling variations. They are the result of repeated translations of the name from Gaelic to English and inconsistencies in spelling rules. They include MacMurchie, MacMurchy, MacUrchie, MacWurchie, MacWorthy, MacVurchie, Murchie and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Worthy research. Another 237 words (17 lines of text) covering the year 1506 is included under the topic Early Worthy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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


Dalriadan families proliferated in North Ameri ca. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Worthy or a variant listed above:

Worthy Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Damaris Worthy, who settled in Virginia in 1663
  • Dammaris Worthy, who landed in Virginia in 1664

Worthy Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Thomas Worthy, who came to New York in 1794

Worthy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • George Worthy, who settled in New York in 1831
  • George Worthy, who arrived in New York in 1831

Worthy Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • L. C. Worthy, who settled in Prince Edward Island in 1809

Worthy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • James Worthy arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "City of Auckland" in 1871

  • Jerel Worthy (b. 1990), American NFL football defensive end for the Green Bay Packers
  • William Worthy Jr. (b. 1921), African-American journalist and civil rights activist
  • James Ager Worthy (b. 1961), retired Hall of Fame American college and professional basketball player
  • Rick Worthy (b. 1967), American actor
  • Christopher John "Chris" Worthy (1947-2007), retired Canadian professional ice hockey player
  • Calum Worthy (b. 1991), Canadian actor, singer and musician from Victoria, British Columbia
  • Trevor H. Worthy (b. 1957), New Zealand paleozoologist
  • Dave Worthy (1934-2004), Canadian politician, Member of the Canadian House of Commons (1988-1993)

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: Per mare per terras
Motto Translation: By sea and by land.


Most Popular Family Crest Products
Worthy Armorial History With Coat of ArmsWorthy Armorial History With Coat of Arms
Worthy Coat of Arms & Surname History PackageWorthy Coat of Arms & Surname History Package
Worthy Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage SeriesWorthy Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage Series
Worthy Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chainWorthy Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chain
Worthy Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee MugWorthy Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee Mug
Worthy Armorial History with FrameWorthy Armorial History with Frame
Worthy Framed Surname History and Coat of ArmsWorthy Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms




    Other References

    1. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
    2. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
    3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    4. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
    5. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    6. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
    8. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
    9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
    10. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
    11. ...

    The Worthy Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Worthy Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 26 March 2015 at 02:18.

    Sign Up


    FREE SHIPPING on orders of $85 or more