This interesting surname, recorded in many forms as shown below, is Gaelic. It originates from Galloway in Scotland. According to Black's Dictionary of Scottish surnames, it derives from the pre 12th century Mac Muireadhaigh, itself from "muir", meaning the sea, and therefore the meaning may be the son of the sailor. The name is widespread in the west of Scotland, and in Ulster in Ireland and particularly County Donegal. The Irish surname O' Muireadhaigh, now Murray, has the same meaning and may have the same origin. The surname spellings include McKlemurray, McKmurrie, McMurraya, Mulmuray, Mulmury, Murra, McMorrow, McMorry and others. Early nameholders include Sir Fergus M'Murre, the chaplain in Glasgow in 1553, in the registers known as the Abstracts of protocols of the town clerks of Glasgow, while Moldone McMurrye in Bute, had sasine, or a document proving possession of property in 1560, according to the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland. Perhaps the earliest proven recording is that of Fergus M'Mury, mentioned in the will of Egidia Blair, Lady Row, which was dated 1530, in the charters of Crossraguel Abbey, Scotland, during the reign of King James V of Scotland, 1513 - 1542. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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