Murtagh Family History
The family history of the ancient name Murtagh
was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. The name Murtagh is derived from the Gaelic O'Muircheartaigh sept name, which translates as 'navigator'. Variants of this widespread name include Murtaugh, Murdoch, MacMoriarty and Murta. This name is of Gaelic origin in Leinster Province but is often of Scottish origin in Ulster Province where it s a variant of Murdoch, having been introduced there by settlers from Scotland, especially during the seventeenth century. The sept was most associated with County Meath although they can be found in County Roscommon under the variant anglicized form MacMoriarty.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
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 Murtagh