• Murray surname history

    Murray surname history

    Murray is an extremely common surname throughout Ireland, among the twenty most numerous. It can be of Scottish or Irish origin. The Scottish surname, Murray or MacMurray, derives from Moray in the north-east of the country, a name which originally meant "settlement by the sea". The earliest recorded ancestor of this family was one Hugh Freskin, a Flemish settler who obtained large grants of land in Morayshire in 1130; his descendants took their name from his property. Many in Ireland, in Ulster particularly, are of this connection. In Ireland, the surname came from O Muireachaidh, "descendant of the seaman". The most prominent family of the name were based in the south Roscommon/east Galway region, and were part of the Ui Maine tribal grouping. As well as these, however, a separate family of the same name are recorded in Cork, in the barony of Carbery, and Mac Muireachaidh, anglicised as Murray and MacMorrow, is found in Co. Leitrim and north Co. Down. In addition Mac Giolla Mhuire. "son of the servant of Mary", another Co. Down name, has sometimes been anglicised as Murray, as well as the more obvious MacIlmurray and Gilmore.