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The Name Murch and its Various Origins

There are several explanations to the name MURCH and its origins, not all necessarily the right explanations for your ancestors, however, all opinions seem to state that it originates mainly from Devon.  There are also many crests with no explanation as to  how they are created, many may be just creations of commercial crest creators.  So, heres a collection of some of the crests and name origins from different sources:

Meanings of the Name Murch


English people prior to the 8th century A.D. were fond of endearment nicknames and these developed into medieveal surnames. One of the reasons for introducing surnames was for the purpose of collecting taxes. So endearments including Dear and Darling, Little and Mann became common surnames. Curiously 'Murch' translates as 'Little man' being originally recorded in the form of 'Morch' . Morch or Murch did not achieve the same popularity as the other names.  However, the name has been around for a very long time. It has also been suggested the 'Murch' is a medieval theatrical surname, possibly given to an actor who played a specific part in the travelling theatres of the 14th century, but this cannot be substantiated.

The name also appears in Scotland under the patronymic form 'Murchison'.  The origins are not connected though as Muchison is an anglised spelling of the ancient gaelic 'Mhurchaidh', which means 'Sea Warrior'.  It is merely sounds like version of 'Murch'.

Some of the earliest recorded written references to a Murch are to Edward Murch,  who was a witness at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 15th 1628.  Also John Murch, who married Martha Triggs at St Katherines by the Tower, London, on June 23rd 1717.


The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Morch, dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward 3rd known as 'The father of the English Navy' 1327-1377.

Alternative Explanation


This surname is derived from a geographical locality. (1) 'at the march,' from residence thereby, i.e. the boundary line; v. March. (2) 'At the marsh,' from residence thereby, i.e. the swamp; v. Marsh. This variant seems to be of West country parentage.


Robert in the Merche, Somerset, 1 Edward III: Kirby's Quest.


1772. Married — William Murch and Esther Mitchell: St. George, Hanover Square.

— A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: 1872-1896 by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley




The surname of MURCH was a locational name 'the dweller at the march' from residence near a boundary line, or a dweller near the swamp or marshy land. The name appears to be of West Country parentage. Habitation names, which are by far the largest group, usually denoted where the original bearer of the name held his land, and where he actually lived. These local surnames derive (with a few occasional exceptions) from English, Scottish or French places, and were originally preceded by a preposition such as 'atte' or 'bye'.


The earliest local surnames of French origin are chiefly from Normandy, particularly from the departments of Calvados, Eure, Seine-Inferieure and La Manche, although some Frenchmen, arriving in England early acquired surnames from English places. Local names may derive from the manor held, the place of residence, and occasionally from a sign like an Inn or Tavern, or a particularly unusual shape of rock, hill, tree, stream or river.


Early records of the name mention Robert in the Merche who was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) in the County of Somerset. Geoffrey Morch appears in 1327 in County Suffolk, and another Geoffrey (perhaps the same man) was recorded in the year 1379 in County Surrey. Later instances of the name include Hugh Murch who was recorded in the Wills at Chester in 1651, and William Murch and Esther Mitchell, who were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1772. In Scotland, a certain Duncan Murchy was recorded in 1526, and a Kath Murchie appears in Watten in 1663.

Robert Murchie was the burgess of Irvine in the year 1664. The lion is the noblest of all wild beasts which is made to be the emblem of strength and valour, and is on that account the most frequently borne in Coat-Armour. The name has many variant spellings which include Morch, Murchie and Merch.


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