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Surname McMurtry - Meaning and Origin

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McMurtry: What does the surname McMurtry mean?

The surname McMurtry is of Scottish origin, derived from the Gaelic name Mac Mhurchaidh. This name is a patronymic form, meaning it is based on the name of a male ancestor. The prefix “Mac” or “Mc” typically means “son of.” The latter part "Mhurchaidh" combines "muir" meaning sea and "curaidh" meaning a champion, warrior, or hero. Together, Mac Mhurchaidh can be interpreted as "son of the sea warrior" or "son of the sea hero". These types of names were often given based on a significant event, occupation, or characteristic of the person it was originally given to. Over time, it would have been passed down to subsequent generations becoming a family name or surname. The name McMurtry and its variations are most prevalent in Northern Ireland, linking to its Celtic origins. Today, many McMurtrys can be found in the United States, Canada, Australia, and England, as well as in Scotland and Ireland. Famous people with the surname McMurtry include American novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry.

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McMurtry: Where does the name McMurtry come from?

The surname McMurtry is of Scottish origin, derived from the Gaelic personal name "Murchadh," which means "sea warrior." It is a patronymic name formed by adding the prefix "Mc," which signifies "son of." Though its exact geographical origin in Scotland is not clear, it is likely from the western or northern parts of the country where Gaelic influence was most pronounced.

The McMurtry surname is not particularly common today, but it can be found in various parts of the world due to the spread of the Scottish diaspora over centuries. Areas with significant populations of individuals bearing the McMurtry name include the United States, Canada, Australia, and Northern Ireland, all of which have been destinations for Scottish emigrants. Despite this global spread, the surname remains most prevalent in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Notably, the acclaimed American novelist and essayist Larry McMurtry, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "Lonesome Dove," is a bearer of this surname.

Variations of the surname McMurtry

The surname McMurtry comes from Scottish or Irish origin, probably derived from the Gaelic word "Mac Muircheartaigh" that means son of Muircheartaigh. Muircheartaigh itself means navigator or sea warrior, indicating a family history deeply linked with maritime activities.

Common variations in spelling for this surname include McMurtrie, McMurty, MacMurtry, and MacMurtrey. Alternative spellings could be McMurthrey, McMurthry, or McMurtrey. The prefixes "Mac" or "Mc" usually mean 'son of,' but can be selectively used depending on geographical origins or personal preference. Also, the ending "-ry," "-rie," or "-rey" may vary.

The variation McMurtrie is common in Scotland particularly because of its linguistic similarity to the original Gaelic word. McMurty is often used in the United States and is the simplest version of the name, reflecting the evolution of the language.

Surnames of the same origin from the gaelic ‘Muircheartaigh’ include Moriarty, Murtagh, McMurtagh, and Murchada. These names all stem from common Gaelic roots, and their similarities often reflect a shared cultural heritage.

Please note that these are potential variants and related surnames, and not every person with these surnames would necessarily be related or hail from the same ancestral lineage.

Famous people with the name McMurtry

  • Larry McMurtry: American novelist, screenwriter, and essayist. He is best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Lonesome Dove.
  • Lee McMurtry: American pro football player who played eight seasons with the New Orleans Saints and the St. Louis Rams.
  • Mike McMurtry: American illustrator and comic artist best known for his work on the comic series Excalibur.
  • Vic McMurtry: American actor and producer. He played Little Jake in the classic film How the West Was Won and starred in the television show The Wild Wild West.
  • William L. McMurtry: American politician who served as the Mayor of Philadelphia from 1913 to 1916.
  • Robert J. McMurtry: Canadian physician, doctor, and professor at the University of Western Ontario's Schulich School of Medicine.
  • Mary Jo McMurtry: American writer and playwright, best known for her play An Octoroon which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2005.
  • Richard McMurtry: American landscape painter, best known for his Romantic Hudson River School style.
  • Woody McMurtry: American country music singer-songwriter from Oklahoma, best known for his single "Where I Wanna Be Tonight".
  • Bruce McMurtry: American artist and abstract painter, best known for his bright and colorful works, often featuring geometric patterns.

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