Murray Name – is it Scottish or Irish?

Last Update 2012-05-28 10:21:28 | Posted On 2012-05-14 12:31:42 | Read 1491 times | 0 Comments

The debate about whether the surname of Murray is of Scottish or Irish origin has raged down through the centuries. Here we take a step back through the ages to explore the possibilities via this piece from the Ireland Roots website:

“Murray is an extremely common surname throughout Ireland, being among the top twenty most numerous. It can be of Scottish or Irish origin.

The Scottish origins of the name applied to people from the region in Scotland, called Moray, which means "settlement by the sea".

The earliest recorded ancestor of this family was Hugh Freskin, a Flemish nobleman, who had crossed the North Sea in 1130 and was granted lands along the Moray Firth coastline. His descendants took their name from his property.

The probable Irish origin of the surname is that it derives from the ancient Gaelic name "O'Muireadhaigh", meaning descendant of Muireadhach; or Mac Giolla Mhuire "descendant of the servant of the Virgin Mary".

Some Irish Murrays were of Scottish origin, particularly those of Ulster stock. The native Irish Murrays date from an earlier time, most likely from the ancient Siol Muiredhaighs who were mainly in northern Roscommon.

Their clan seat was at Moate Park in Ballymurray, but this was confiscated by the English in the late 17th century.

Other places connected with the Murray surname include Cloonmurray and Kilmurray. Descendants of the Roscommon O'Muireadhaigh sept anglicised their name to Murray in the 17th century. Murry, Morrow and McIlmurray are other anglicised variants.”

 


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