Murray coat of arms

Murray Coat of Arms / Murray Family Crest

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Where did the Scottish Murray family come from? What is the Scottish coat of arms/family crest? When did the Murray family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?

Although Medieval Scotland lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations of Scottish single names. Murray has been written Murray, Murrey, Moray, Morey, Morrey, Morry, Murry and many more.

First found in Moray (Gaelic: Moireibh), at one time officially Elginshire, in the present day Scottish Council Area of Moray, in northeastern Scotland, where they were seated 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.

Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland or Australia, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through clan societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name Murray: Andrew, Anne, Archibald, Bernard, Catherine, Charles, Daniel, Denis, Edward, George, Henry, Hugh, James, John, Martin, Michael, Patrick, Peter, Robert, Thomas and William Murray who all arrived in Philadelphia between 1800 and 1870. In Newfoundland, James Murray was in possession of property and was a fisherman of St. John’s in 1784.

Motto Translated: Quite ready.

Suggested Readings for the name Murray

  • Family Ties of Roy Harold Murray by Miriam Clouds Murray.
  • Golden Clan: the Murrays, the McDonnells, and the Irish American Aristocracy by John Corry.


Some noteworthy people of the name Murray

  • Bill Murray (b. 1950), Academy Award-nominated, Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-winning American comedian and actor
  • Patty Murray (b. 1950), American Politician, United States Senator for Washington (from 1992)
  • Jeanne Murray (b. 1923), original name of American Jean Stapleton
  • John Murray (1741-1815), American theologian
  • Lindley Murray (1745-1826), American grammarian
  • Alexander Stuart Murray (1841-1904), Scottish archaeologist
  • William Murray (b. 1930), 8th Earl of Mansfield, Scottish nobleman and Conservative politician
  • David Murray, Scottish entrepreneur
  • Alexander Murray (1775-1813), Scottish philologist
  • Charles Murray (1864-1941), Scottish poet
  • Lord George Murray (1700-1760), Scottish Jacobite soldier
  • John Murray (1745-1793), Scottish publisher
  • Sir Terrence Ubrey Murray (1810-1873), Irish born, settler and architect in Australia
  • Keith Anderson Hope Murray (1903-1993), Baron Murray of Newhaven, British academic
  • Gilbert Murray (1866-1957), Professor and Greek scholar at Oxford University
  • Sir James Augustus Henry Murray (1837-1915), British philologist and the original lexicographer of the Oxford English Dictionary
  • George Iain Murray (1931-1996), 10th Duke of Atholl
  • Kenneth Randolph Murray (1913-1995), 11th Earl of Dunmore
  • Anne Murray (b. 1945), Canadian singer
  • George Gilbert Aimé Murray (1866-1957), Australian classical scholar
  • Sir John Murray (1841-1914), Canadian marine zoologist
  • Keith Bay Pearce Murray (b. 1892), New Zealand architect and designer
  • Len Murray (b. 1922), English trade union leader
  • Les Murray (b. 1938), Australian poet
  • Matthew Murray (1765-1826), English inventor
  • William Staite Murray (1881-1962), English potter
  • First Lieutenant Charles P Murray Jr., who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944