Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Variants: Murche, Murchie, Murtch
Category: 1 - A study where research using core genealogical datasets and transcriptions is in its early stages.
Contact: Miss Ros Haywood
My interest in the Murch name began when I started to research my family history and found that it was one of my father's middle names - but nobody knew anything about it: was it a surname or a misspelling of the given name 'Mark', where did it come from and so on. Subsequent research revealed a whole line of woolcombers, silk weavers, lace makers - even a Court dressmaker - and all of them Protestant Dissenters (later to become Congregationalists).
Joining the Guild of One Name Studies seemed a logical next step, so that I could continue to study this fascinating name with even more resources.
It has been suggested that '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 is not proven.
The name also appears in Scotland under the patronymic form 'Murchison', however the origins are not connected. Muchison is an anglised spelling of the ancient gaelic 'Mhurchaidh' meaning 'Sea Warrior' and is merely a sounds-like version of 'Murch'.
[The Surname Database, accessed July 2014]
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey Morch, which was dated 1327, in the Subsidy Rolls of Suffolk, during the reign of King Edward III, known as 'The father of the English Navy' 1327-1377.
Edward Murch, a witness at St Dunstan's-in-the-East, Stepney, on March 15th 1628.
Protestant Dissenting Murches in Devon dating from Robert in 1687.
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