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Surname Moffat - Meaning and Origin

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Unraveling the Moffat Lineage: A Peek into My Celtic Origins and Viking Ties Through an iGENEA DNA Test

Following my most recent iGENEA DNA test, I discovered an intriguing mishmash of histories tied to my family's Moffat surname. The test administered scientific checks on my ancestral lineage, uncovering a rich blend of Celtic and Viking ancestry tied primarily to the British Isles. Stemming from periods of historical intermingling, my Moffat lineage has been shaped over time, reflecting cultural shifts and population movements over the ages.

L. Moffat

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Moffat: What does the surname Moffat mean?

The surname Moffat is of Scottish origin, deriving from the town of Moffat in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Its meaning is believed to be associated with a Gaelic phrase "magh fada", which translates to "long plain" or "long field", suggesting that the original bearers of the name were residents or from this area. The name may also be related to the Welsh word "mawdd", meaning "good" or "kind". Moffat is a geographical or locational surname, which were often given to individuals based on their place of residence or birth. The name Moffat was first recorded in the 13th century and it is quite popular among those of Scottish descent. Notable figures with this surname include Steven Moffat, a television writer and producer known for his work on popular series like "Doctor Who" and "Sherlock".

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Moffat: Where does the name Moffat come from?

The last name Moffat is most commonly found in the Scottish Lowlands, particularly south of the Forth and Clyde river system. The origin of the name lies in the Old English word "mōf" meaning pasture or meadow. It was derived as a placename or habitational name for those coming from a parish in Largs, North Ayrshire.

Moffat is also another notably common location near the town of Dumfries in Scotland. The Moffat family were historically a very prominent and influential family in this area, with several records of members of the family in the nearby vicinity.

Today, there is a notable number of people with the Moffat surname in various parts of England, as well as in Scotland, Ireland, and even in Australia. The United States also has numerous people with the last name, hailing from the original Scottish origins.

While the name Moffat has certainly spread around beyond the Scottish borders, it remains largely an intrinsic part of Scotland's and British history. Considering its roots in the medieval Lowlands, even today, the name Moffat is still most commonly observed in Scotland and its surrounding regions.

Variations of the surname Moffat

Moffat is an ancient surname of Scottish origin. It is derived from the Old English pre 7th Century term moff meaning ‘soft’. It is also thought to describe someone from a place called Moffat in the parish of Tynron in Dumfriesshire.

Variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin for Moffat include Moffat, Moffatt, Moffatt, Mofatt, Muffat, Muffatt, Mouffet, Muffett, and Moffet. The variants such as Mouffett and Moffit were adopted in Scotland.

The spelling of Moffat has changed through the centuries and different countries adopted different spellings, the most popular of which in Scotland was Moffatt. In Ireland it was usually spelled Moffat and Moffett, while in England it was often spelled Muffet and Muffett.

The Moffats were known to be a clan in the Borders of Scotland. There are numerous references to the Moffats throughout Scottish history. In 1320 a Thomas de Moffat is recorded as having signed the Ragman Roll in Melrose, Scotland. In 1376 a John Muffet was one of a “Panel of Arbitration” in Scotland. In 1437 a Patrick Mofat was a witness to a Charter of Endowment of a Collegiate Church in Creiff in Perthshire.

Today, Moffat is still a popular surname in Scotland, England and Ireland. The Moffat name is particularly strong in Scotland and some Moffats have migrated to America, Canada and Australia. The different variants of the name can still be found in most countries of the world.

Famous people with the name Moffat

  • Steven Moffat: Steven Moffat is a British television writer, producer and screenwriter who has written extensively for television, including the UK television series, Dr. Who and Sherlock. He also served as the showrunner and head writer of both series.
  • Graham Moffat: Graham Moffat was a Scottish writer and comedian who is best remembered for writing the novels on which the film "Whisky Galore!" was based.
  • Paul Moffat: Paul Moffat is a Canadian musician, composer and producer. He has been featured on multiple Canadian television series, and his music has been featured in a multitude of films. Moffat is also a prominent member of the Canadian music scene, having worked with some of the greatest musicians in the country.
  • Douglas Moffat: Douglas Moffat was an English actor who gained fame for his portrayal of the title character in the hit BBC television series The Adventures of Parsley, which enjoyed a successful nine-year run in the UK.
  • Fergus Moffat: Fergus Moffat was a Scottish poet, novelist and essayist known for his vivid accounts of life on the Scottish borders. He also wrote several popular historical romances during the course of his career.
  • Mark Moffat: Mark Moffat is an Australian composer, percussionist and producer particularly noted for his innovative use of electronics and long periods of improvisation.
  • Sarah Moffat: Sarah Moffat is an English actress best known for her roles in the hit shows "Sherlock" and "Broadchurch".

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