McMurdo. Where did the McMurdo family come from? What is the McMurdo coat of arms/family crest? When did the McMurdo family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of McMurdos go? What is the history of the McMurdo family name?
Scotland's coastal mountains and Hebrides islands were known in ancient times as the kingdom of Dalriada. The name McMurdo evolved there as a nickname for a seagoing warrior. The Gaelic form of the name is Mac Mhurchaidh, which means son of the sea warrior.
Many spelling variations of McMurdo have been recorded over the years, including MacMurdo, MacMurdie, MacMurdy, Murdoson, MacMurdiston and many more. These are the result of the medieval practice of spelling according to sound and repeated translation between Gaelic and English.
First found in Argyllshire 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.
Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America.
Some noteworthy people of the name McMurdo:
Archibald McMurdo joined the navy on 6 October 1824, at age 12. He achieved the rank of Lieutenant in 1836, Commander in 1843, and Captain in 1851. His career included two discovery expeditions aboard HMS Terror, the first to north of Hudson Bay, the second to Antarctica. During the latter, McMurdo Sound was discovered and named. Archibald McMurdo achieved command of HMS Contest in 1846, which was detailed to the coast of west Africa. He retired as a vice-admiral.
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