Murdoch Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Murdoch Family Coat of Arms

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Murdoch Coat of Arms Meaning

Murdoch Name Origin & History

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Murdoch Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Murdoch blazon are the crow, arrow and mascle. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, or and gules .

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.7The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313. Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron 9Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53, perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 10A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crow, raven, rook and many older names are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same appearance 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164. Wade discusses the symbolism of the crow, disputing Sloane-Evans suggestion as an emblem of “long life” and preferring “a settled habitation and a quiet life” instead. 12The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P81

Given the martial nature of the origins of Heraldry, in the identification of knights and men-at-arms it can come as no surprise that mediaeval weaponry of all types are frequently to be found in a coat of arms 13Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89. The regular prescence of the arrow, both singly and in groups is evidence of this. In British heraldry a lone arrow normally points downward, but in the French tradition it points upwards. 14A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Arrow. The presence of an arrow in a coat of arms is reckoned to indicate “martial readiness” by Wade. 15The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111

The mascle is a close relative of the lozenge or diamond shape, but with the centre cut away revealing the background underneath. 16A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mascle. Guillim, writing in the 17th century reckoned the mascle to represent the mesh of a net, being the biblical symbol for “persuasion, whereby men are induced to virtue and verity”. 17A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P234

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Murdoch Name

Murdoch Origin:

Ireland

Origin of Murdoch:

The origin of this unusual surname originally derived from Gaelic, and is the Anglicized type of two Gaelic particular names that, have combined into one, frequently composed as “Muire(adh)ach.” The two real names were “Muiredach,” acquired from the word “muir,” which means sea, which meant “related to the sea,” a sailor and the word “Murchad,” wich means “sea-fighter.” The resulting particular name developed into Yorkshire before the Norman invasion of the year 1066 by Norwegians from Ireland, and listed in the Domesday Book of the year 1086 as “Murdac, Murdoc” and “Meurdoch.” The new surname is considered as Scottish, but it was not until the period of William the Lion, Lord of Scotland (1165 – 1214) that one Walter Murdoch is listed in many documents. William Murdoch (1754 – 1839), the creator of gas-lighting, announced a creator by the Shah of Persia, who considered him to be a re-personification of Merodach or Marduk, “Lord of Light.”

Variations:

More common variations of this surname are: Murdouch, Mourdoch, Murdoc, Murdock, Mordoch, Murdach, Murdoca, Murduch, Murdcoh, Murdoco.

Scotland:

The surname Murdoch first organized in Ayrshire, anciently a division in the southwestern Strathclyde area of Scotland, that today build the Council Area of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from ancient times. And their first lists developed on the early census rolls derived by the former Kings of Scotland to develop the rate of taxation of their activities.

England:

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Geoffrey Murdac, which was dated 1130, in the “Pipe Rolls of Yorkshire.” It was during the time of King Henry I, who was known to be the “The Lion of Justice,” dated 1100 – 1135. The origin of surnames during that time became a necessity with the introduction of particular taxation. It came to be known as census Tax in England. Surnames all over the country started to develop, with different and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Murdoch settled in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 18th and 19th. Some of the people with the name Murdoch who settled in the United States in the 18th century included John Murdoch settled in New England in 1718. Robert Murdoch landed in New Hampshire in 1718. John Murdoch arrived in North Carolina in 1774. John Murdoch, at the age of 17 landed in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1774. Archibald Murdoch, at the age of 17 came in New York, NY in 1774.

Some of the people with the name Murdoch who settled in the United States in the 19th century included Sarah Murdoch, who landed in America in 1805. Thomas Murdoch, at the age of 8, arrived in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1805. Thomas Murdoch, who came to America in 1805. Margaret Murdoch, at the age of 10 arrived in New Palace or Philadelphia in 1805. Alexander Murdoch, who settled in Allegany (Allegheny) Division, Pennsylvania in 1811.

Canada:

Some of the people with the name Murdoch who settled in Canada in the 19th century included William Murdoch at the age of 22 landed in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship “Eweretta” in 1833.

Australia:

Some of the people with the name Murdoch who settled in Australia in the 19th century included John Murdoch arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832. George Murdoch arrived in Van Diemen’s Land sometime between 1825 and 1832. John Murdoch, Margaret Murdoch, and Andrew Murdoch all arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship “Indus” in the same year in 1839.

New Zealand:

Some of the people with the name Murdoch who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included Robert M. Murdoch, at the age of 21, who was a worker settled in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Rangitikei” in 1884. H. Murdoch came in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship “Tongariro” in 1888.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Murdoch: United States 5,094; England 5,657; Australia 4,330; Scotland 3,688; Canada 3,007; South Africa 1,954; Germany 269; Paraguay 964; Argentina 448; New Zealand 1,692.

Notable People:

Alexi Murdoch is an outstanding Scottish musician.

Beamish Murdoch is a justice and professor at Nova Scotia.

Ben Murdoch-Masila is a New Zealand player in Rugby League.

Billy Murdoch is an Australian cricket player.

Blair Murdoch is a Canadian television reporter.

Murdoch Family Gift Ideas

Browse Murdoch family gift ideas and products below. If there are multiple coats of arms for this surname, you will see them at the top of this page and can click on the various coat of arms designs to apply them to the gift ideas below.

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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Rosshall, co. Renfrew, 1779). Motto—Omine secundo. Ar. a fesse chequy az. and of the field, over all two crows sa. pendent on an arrow fesseways ppr. Crest—A lion's head erased gu.
2) Or, on a chev. gu. three mascles ar. Crest—A sword in pale enfiled with a savage’s head couped ppr.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
2. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
5. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
6. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
7. The Siege of Carlaverock, N. Harris, Nichols & Son, London, 1828, P180
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 313
9. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
10. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164
12. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P81
13. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 89
14. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Arrow
15. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P111
16. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mascle
17. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P234