Murray Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

Murray Family Coat of Arms

Variations of this name are: McMurray.

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Murray Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Murray blazon are the mullet, mermaid and tressure. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, or and argent .

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36.

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” 3The 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 4Understanding 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’ 5A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 6Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 7A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11.

The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” 8Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97. A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires 9A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107. In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” 10The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105.

The mermaid is depicted exactly as we now picture the mythical creature, and is almost always shown with dishevelled hair and looking into a hand mirror. 11A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mermaid They tend to more frequent as supporters than being illustrated upon the shield itself. Wade cites Sloane Evans in his belief that the mermaid represents the “Eloquence” of the bearer.

The tressure is an oridinary that echoes the outer edge of the shield, being a thin single or double line somewhat inset from the outside. It can decorated at key points with fleurs-de-lys in which case it is known as a tressure flory counter-flory. 12A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:tressure Wade considers it to be the emblem of “preservation and protection”, presumably because of its “surrounding” of the other charges. 13The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P51

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Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Murray Name

Murray Origin:

Scotland, Ireland, England

Origins of Name:

The surname of Murray is said to have roots in three separate cultures, although all of them hail from Europe: Irish, English, and Scottish. The first possible location of the surname of Murray comes into play within the Scottish culture. The Scots believe that the surname of Murray is locational, and hails from the Moray Firth in Northeast Scotland. This area is believed to be named from Pre 10th Century Old Celtic and Gaelic components which can be translated to mean “dwelling by the sea.” When a surname is locational, this means that it was often taken by the Lord or owner of the land from which the name derives. Others who may have take a locational surname are people who have migrated out of the area to seek out work. The easiest way to identify someone who was a stranger at that time was by the name of their birthplace. The second possible origin of the surname of Murray has roots in the Irish culture. The surname is believed to have derived from the Gaelic surname of Mac Muireadhaigh, which can be translated to mean “son of the sea man.” Another possible origin of the surname of Murray also hails from the country of Ireland. The Gaelic and Irish “Mac giolla Mhuire” can be translated to mean “son of a follower of the Virgin Mary. The fourth possible origin of the surname of Murray can be found within English culture, and is said to have derived from the surname of Merry. Merry was said to be a nickname from the Pre 7th Century English word of “myriage” which can be translated to mean pleasant. The nickname was used for someone who was said to have a pleasant and cheerful demeanor. It is a common element of surnames throughout Europe that many of them originally derived from nicknames, as it was a very common practice in medieval times. In the beginning, nicknames were applied to people who had distinguishing characteristics, such as moral or mental peculiarities, a similar appearance to a bird or animal, a similar disposition to a bird or animal, occupation of an individual, their habits, or their manner of dress.

Variations:

More common variations are: Moray, Mourray, Murraya, Murraye, Hmurray, Murrauy, Myurray, Murruay, Maurray, McMurray, MacMurray, Murrey, Murrey

History:

Scotland:

The first recorded spelling of the surname of Murray can be found within the country of Scotland. One person who was named as William de Moravia was mentioned as a witness at the abbey of Holyrood. This occurred under the reign of one King William, who was referred to throughout history as “The Lyon,” and ruled from the year 1165 to the year 1214. Those who bear the surname of Murray within the country of Scotland can be found within the counties of Lanarkshire, Aberdeenshire, Ayrshire, and Ross-Cromarty.

England:

Those who carry the surname of Murray within the country of England can be found throughout the country. The areas with the largest population of people who bear the surname of Murray can be found in Lancashire, Northumberland, and in the county of Cumberland.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Murray: United States 206,578; England 47,010; Canada 34,912; Australia 30,305; South Africa 22,684; Ireland 17,699; Scotland 17,412; Jamaica 6,514; Northern Ireland 6,128; New Zealand 5,931

Notable People:

William James “Bill” Murray (born in 1950) who is an Academy Award nominated, Primetime Emmy Award Winning, and winner of a Golden Globe comedian and actor from America

Bruce Churchill Murray (1931-2013) who was a space scientist from America, who served as the Director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from the year 1976 to the year 1982

Albert L. Murray (1916-2013) who was a literary and jazz critic, as well as being a biographer, essayist, and novelist

Dr. Joseph Murray (1919-2012) who was a doctor from America, who won the Nobel prize for his pioneering work in human organ transplants in the year 1990

John Edwards Murray Jr. (1932-2015) who was a chancellor and professor of law from America, who taught at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and who served as the 11th President of Duquesne University from the year 1988 to the year 2001

Vice Admiral George Dominic Murray (1889-1956) who was a naval aviator from America

Patty Murray (born in 1950) who is a politician from America, and who serves as the current United States Senator for Washington, a position that she has held since the year 1992

Murray Family Gift Ideas

Browse Murray 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) (confirmed to Robert McMurray, Esq., of Roxborough House, Limerick, and Patrickswell, co. Limerick). Motto—Virtute fideque. Ar. a lion ramp. az. on a chief of the second three mullets pierced of the field. Crest—A demi lion ramp. guard. gu. holding a Lochaber axe, and charged on the shoulder with a rose ar.
2) (Bothwell, co. Lanark). Az. three stars or.
3) (Touchadam and Polmaise, co. Stirling). Motto—Tout prêt. Az. three stars ar. within a double tressure flory counterflory or. Crest—A mermaid with a mirror in her dexter and a comb in her sinister hand ppr.
4) (Tullibardine, Earl of Athloe, as borne in 17th century). Motto: Furth fortune and fill the fetters. Quarterly, 1st and 4th grand quarters, counterquartered, 1st and 4th, paly of six or and sa., for Athole, ind and 3rd, or, a fess chequy az. and ar., for Stewart; 2nd and 3rd grand quarters, az. three stars ar. within a double tressure flory counterflory or, for Murray. Crest—A demi savage ppr. in his dexter hand a sword erect also ppr., in his sinister a key or. Supporters—A savage holding a chain in his dexter hand ppr., and a lion gu. gorged with a collar az. charged with a collar az. charged with three stars ar.
5) (Duke of Athole, as now borne). Motto—Furth fortune and fill the fetters. Quarterly, 1st grand quarter, 1st and 4th, paly of six or and sa., for the ancient Earldom of Athole, 2nd and 3rd, or, a fesse chequy az. and ar., for Stewart 2nd grand quarter, az. three mullets ar. within a double tressure flory counterflory or, for Murray; 3rd grand quarter, 1st, ar. on a bend az. three bucks’ heads cabossed or, for Stanley, 2nd, gu. three legs in armonr ppr. garnished and spurred or, conjoined in triangle at the upper part of the thigh, for the Isle of Man, as lords thereof, 3rd, or, on a chief indented az., three plates, for Latham, 4th, gu. two lions pass. in pale ar., for Strange; 4th grand quarter, 1st and 4th, or, a lion ramp. az., 2nd and 3rd, az. five fusils in fesse or, both for Percy. Crest—A demi savage ppr. holding in his right hand a dagger ppr. pommel and hilt or, and in his left hand a key of the last. Supporters—Dexter, a savage ppr. wreathed about the head and waist vert, his feet in fetters of iron, the chain held up by his right hand also ppr.; sinister, a lion gu. gorged with a plain collar az. thereon three mullets ar.
6) (Earl of Dunmore). Motto—Furth fortune and fill the fetters. Quarterly, 1st, az. three mullets ar. within a double tressure flory counterflory or, for Murray; 2nd, or, a fesse chequy ar. and az., for Stewart; 3rd, paly of six or and sa., for Athole; 4th, ar. on a bend az. three stags' heads cabossed, for Stanley; 5th, gu. three legs in armour, spurred and garnished or, conjoined in triangle at the thigh, for the Isle of Man; 6th, gu. two lions pass. in pale ar., for Strange. Crest—A demi savage wreathed about the head and loins with oak, holding in the dexter hand a sword erect ppr. pommel and hilt or, and in the sinister a key of the last. Supporters—Dexter, a lion gu. gorged with a collar az. charged with three mullets ar.; sinister, a savage wreathed as the crest ppr.
7) (Capt. John Murray; descended of Tullibardine, 1672). Motto—Fortes fortuna adjuvat. Az. three stars ar. within a double tressure flory counterflory or, in fess point a thistle ppr. Crest—A lion's paw holding a sword ppr.
8) (Viscount Stormont, Earl of Mansfield). Mottoes—Uni æquus virtuti; and, Spero meliora. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. three stars within a double tressure flory counterflory with fleurs-de-lis or, for Murray; 2nd and 3rd, gu. three crosses pattée or, two and one, for Barclay, of Balvaird. Crest—A buck’s head couped or, with a cross pattée betw. his antlers ar. Supporters—Two lions gu. armed or.
9) (Graham-Murray, of Murrayshall, co. Perth). Mottoes—Candide et secure, for Graham; Macte virtute, for Murray. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, or, three piles sa. within a double tressure flory counterflory gu. on a chief of the second a crescent betw. two escallops of the first, for Graham; 2nd and 3rd, az. a cross pattée betw. three stars ar. within a double tressure flory counterflory or, for Murray. Crests—1st: A dove ppr., for Graham; 2nd: A buck's head couped ppr., for Murray.
10) (Drumcaim, co. Perth, 1672). Motto—Mali mori quam foedari. Az. a cross pattee betw. three stars ar. Crest—A swan's head couped ppr.
11) (Strowan, co. Perth, 1672). Az. three stars ar. in middle chief a crescent or.
12) (Lochland, 1672). Motto—Gloria non præda. Az. a falcon’s head erased betw. three stars ar. Crest—A greyhound courant ppr.
13) (Ochtertyre, co. Perth, bart., 1673). Motto—Ex bello quics. Az. three stars ar. in the centre a cross of the second surmounted of a saltire gu. Crest—An olive branch ppr.
14) (Gen. Sir George Murray, G.C.B., G.C.H., seond son of Sir William Murray, of Ochtertyre, fifth bart.). Motto—Furth fortune and fill the fetters. Same Arms, with a crescent for diff. Crest—A laurel branch erect vert, over it, Paritur bello. Supporters—Dexter, a lion ramp. gu. gorged with a collar az. thereon three mullets ar.; sinister, a man wreathed about the loins, having fetters on the ankles, the chain from which lie holds in the sinister hand all ppr.; both supporters charged on the breast with a cross surmounted by a saltire, as in the arms.
15) (Lintrose, co. Perth, 1803). Same Arms, with a crescent or, in chief for diff.
16) (David Murray, third brother of Murray of Dollarie, co. Perth, 1673). Motto—A rore colorem. As Ochtertyre, with a crescent surmounted of a mullet or, in dexter chief.
17) (Glendoick, bort., 1678). Motto—Nosce teipsum. See also Hepburn, of Blackcastle. Az. a cross pattée betw. three mullets ar. a double tressure flory counterflory or. Crest—A dexter hand holding a mirror ppr.
18) (Earl of Dysart). Motto—Tout prest. Az. an imperial crown ppr. betw. three stars ar. a double tressure flory counterflory or. Crest—A mermaid holding in her dexter hand a mirror, and in her sinister a comb ppr. Supporters—Two lions gu. collared az. the collar charged with three stars ar.
19) (Falahill, co. Edinburgh, and Philiphaugh, co. Selkirk). Motto—Hinc usque superna venabor. Ar. a hunting horn sa. garnished and stringed gu. on a chief az. three stars of the first. Crest—A demi man winding a horn ppr.
20) (Deuchar, co. Selkirk). Motto—Fidei signum. Same Arms, within a bordure gu. Crest—An escallop gu.
21) (Melgund, co. Forfar, bart., 1704). Motto—Placeam dum peream. Ar. a hunting horn sa. garnished and stringed gu. on a chief wavy az. three stars of the first. Crest—A burning lamp ppr.
22) (Pilkeirie, co. Fife, 1672). Motto—Tutum te littore sistam. As Philiphangh, with a mullet surmounted by a crescent in fess point for diff. Crest—A ship under sail ppr.
23) (Stanhope, co. Peebles, bart., 1665). Motto—Pads nuncia. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, as Murray, of Philiphaugh; 2nd, az. three frases ar.; 3rd, ar. on a chief gu. three cushions or. Cmi— A dove with an olive branch in its beak ppr.
24) (Cockpool, co. Dumfries). Ar. a saltire engr. az. on a chief of the last three stars of the field.
25) (Earl of Annandale). Motto—Noclesque diesque præsto. Az. a crescent betw. three stars ar. a tressure flory counterflory of the last, on a canton of the last a thistle vert, crowned or. Crest—An angel ppr.
26) (Broughton, co. Wigtoun). Motto—Impero. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. three stars ar.; 2nd and 3rd, counterquartered, 1st and 4th, ar. a saltire cantoned with four roses gu., 2nd and 3rd, or, a fess chequy az. and ar. Crest—A griffin saliant ppr.
27) (Murraythwaite, co. Dumfries). Motto—Noctesque diesque præsto. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, az. a crescent betw. three stars ar. a double tressure flory counterflory of the last, all within a bordure or, for Murray; 2nd and 3rd, or, on a saltire az. nine lozenges of the field, all within a bordure engr. gu., for Dalrymple. Crest—A cherub ppr. winged or.
28) (Blackbarony, co. Peebles, bart., 1623). Motto—Deum time. Or, a fetterlock az. on a chief of the second three stars ar. Crest—A dexter hand holding a scroll fessways ppr.
29) (Cringletie, co. Peebles, 1777). As the last, within a bordure gu. Same Crest and Motto.
30) (Henderland and Murrayfield). Ar. a martlet az. in a fetterlock sa. within a bordure gu. on a chief of the second three stars of the field. Same Crest and Motto.
31) (Lord Elibank, as borne by the first lord). Motto—Virtute fideque. Az. a martlet betw. three stars ar. all within a double tressure flory counterflory or. Crest—A lion ramp. gu. holding a battle axe ppr. Supporters—Two horses ar. furnished gu.
32) (Lord Elibank, as now borne). Motto—Virtute fideque. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, or, a fetterlock az. on a chief of the last three stars ar., for Murray, of Blackbarony; 2nd, gu. a chev. betw. three crescents ar., for Oliphant; 3rd, az. three stars within a double tressure flory counterflory ar. and in the centre a martlet or, being his lordship’s paternal arms. Crest—A lion ramp. gu. holding betw. the paws a battle axe ppr. Supporters—Two horses ar. bridled gu.
33) (Spott and Longhermandston, co. Haddington). Motto—Virtute fideque. Az. a martlet betw. three stars ar. all within a double tressure flory counterflory or, a bordure per pale of the first and second. Crest—A horse ar. furnished gu.
34) (Col. George Murray, fourth son of first Lord Elibank). Motto—Juncta virtuti fides. Az. a martlet betw. three stars ar. within a double tressure flory counterflory or, a bordure embattled ar. Crest—A horse saliant ar. furnished gu.
35) (Simprim, co. Forfar; from a natural son of the first Lord Elibank; line ended in daus., one of whom m. Lord Talbot de Malahide). Motto—Virtute fideque. Az. a martlet or, betw. three stars ar. a double tressure flory counterflory of the second, all within a bordure compony of the third and gu. Crest—A demi lion gu. holding a Lochaber axe ppr. betw. his paws.
36) (Clermont, co. Fife, bart., 1626). Motto, over crest—Deum time. Or, a fetterlock az. within a bordure embattled gu. on a chief of the second three mullets ar. Crest—A dexter hand brandishing a flaming sword ppr.
37) (Pennyland, co. Caithness; heiress m. Stuart Threipland, of Fingask). Motto—In utrumque paratus. Az. a bezant betw. three stars ar. Crest—A mermaid holding a sword in her dexter hand ppr.
38) (Capt. James Murray, R.N., 1812). Motto—Virtute fideque. Az. a martlet or, betw. three stars ar. a bordure of the second, on a canton erm. a sword ppr. surmounted by a trident saltireways sa. Crest—A lion ramp. guard. gu. collared and chained, supporting an anchor erect or.
39) (Vice-Admiral George Murray, 1814). Az. an anchor erect or, betw. three estoiles ar. all within a double tressure flory counterflory of the second. Crest—A demi savage ppr. wreathed head and middle vert, in his dexter hand a dagger ppr. pommel and hilt or, in his sinister an anchor of the last.
40) (Birmingham). Motto—They by permission shine. Ar. a hunting horn sa. stringed gu. a bordure of the second charged with three escallops or, on a chief az. as many stars of the field. Crest—A telescope on a stand or.
41) (Danesfield, co. Bucks). Motto—Hine usque superna venabor. Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a buglehorn ppr. stringed gu. on a chief az. three mullets of the first, for Murray, of Philiphaugh; 2nd and 3rd, or, on a bend az. an estoile betw. two crescents and on a border engr. sa. eight escallops of the first, for Scott. Crests—A demi savage wreathed about the temples and loins, holding a buglehorn all ppr., for Murray; a stag trippant, for Scott.
42) (Castle Murray, co. Donegal; exemplified to Alexander Murray, Esq., upon his assuming by royal licence, 1812, the surname of Murray, in compliance with the will of James Murray, Esq., of Broughton). Motto—Imperio. Az. three stars ar. Crest—A griffin segreant ppr.
43) (granted to George Moore Murray, of Mexico). Az. a chaplet of oak or, betw. three mullets ar. within a bordure nebulée of the second. Crest—Out of a crescent or, a demi savage affrontée ppr. wreathed about the temples or and az. holding in the dexter hand a sword erect also ppr. and in the sinister a key, the ward upwards, gold.

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References   [ + ]

1. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
2. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
3. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
4. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
5. A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
6. Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
7. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
8. Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
9. A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
10. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
11. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Mermaid
12. A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:tressure
13. The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P51