Muir Clan of Australia

Meaning | Motto | Origins | Tartans | Australian Immigrants | Links | Sources | Contact


Meaning Motto

Muir is a Scottish surname whose etymological origins comprise the meanings 'sea' or 'ocean' in Scots Gaelic and 'moorland' in Scots. The latter is derived from the Scots form of the Middle English word mor, meaning 'moor' or 'heath'. Clan means 'family' or 'tribe', from the Old Gaelic clann, 'children'.

Durum patientia frango
('By patience I overcome difficulties')


In 367 A.D. Fergus Mor, from Ireland, invaded Scotland and defeated the Romans, becoming the first King of Dalriada, one of the four princedoms that eventually formed into Scotland. In 1071, Scotland was invaded by William the Conqueror; in the following year, King Malcolm of Scotland capitulated. Due to gaps in the genealogical evidence, direct lines of descent from these early days of Scotland's history are often hard to determine with certainty.

During the 13th Century, the chief family of the name was established. The Mures of Rowallan, prominent figures in Scottish history, were seated near Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire. Gilcrest Mure married the daughter of Sir Walter Cumyn, securing the family seat at Rowallan Castle. Elizabeth Mure, daughter of Sir Adam Mure of Rowallan and Jannet Mure, was mistress to Robert Stewart (who later became Robert II of Scotland in 1371). She married him on 22 November 1347, with Papal dispensation to legitimize their previously born children. After their legal marriage, Elizabeth Mure was styled Countess of Atholl, and her surname became Stewart. Elizabeth died before 1355.

Following the 1745 Jacobite Rising and the dismantling of the clan system, many of the chiefly lines of clans and families were lost, and over time some smaller clans were absorbed and became a sept of the larger clan. While the smaller clan retained a clan crest, it owed allegiance to the chief of the larger clan.

Clan Muir is currently one of over 200 armigerous Scottish clans, meaning that the clan at one point had a chief with matriculated arms, but no longer has a chief recognized by the Court of Lord Lyon, King of Arms. The Lord Lyon Court holds an official registry of the formal structure of clans and their chiefs, and controls heraldry and Coats of Arms.

The surnames Muir, Mure and Moore can all be considered septs of Clan Campbell, historically one of the largest and most powerful Highland Scottish clans. The Clan Campbell motto is Ne obliviscaris ('Never forget').

map of Clan Campbell territory
Clan Campbell territory in the Scottish Highlands      


picture of Muir Ancient tartan picture of Muir Modern tartan

Muir Ancient Tartan

Muir Modern Tartan

Australian Immigrants

It is hoped that a wealth of information about Muir immigrants to Australia will be made available on this site over time. If you are interested in providing content to this project, please contact Kirsten Muir at All submissions are warmly welcomed.


The following links are provided for general interest. No responsibility is taken for their content.


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