Murphy / Family History
The family history of the ancient name Murphy was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Murphy is derived from the Gaelic O'Murchadha sept which translates as 'sea warrior'. There were several septs of the name whose territory was located in Counties Tyrone, Sligo and Wexford. Dermott MacMurrough, the most famous Murphy of all, invited the Normans, led by Strongbow, into Ireland in the year 1170. His brother was the ancestor of all the Wexford Murphys. Some of the Wexford sept moved to County Cork where Daibhi Murchu is famous for having played his Harp for Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen. As a talented family they have produced many artists, sculptors, writers and a very famous actor and playwright, Arthur Murphy. Several branches of the family joined in business with the Powers and Jamesons, the biggest distillers in Ireland. In modern times the name Murphy is very widespread, having being introduced into America and Australia where ancestors bearing the name can be found in even greater numbers than in Ireland.The Murphy family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Murphy descendants.