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Moffat Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: SPERO MELIORA (I hope for better things)

Let me delve into the captivating tapestry of your family’s history, the Moffats. Your family’s roots trace back to the ancient Borders, where their influence and power flourished, even spanning the era of Sir William Wallace. The very name Moffat is a testament to your family’s deep connection with a place, stemming from Moffat in Dumfriesshire, meaning ‘the long plain’. It was the family’s ownership of this land that led them to adopt the surname, initially as ‘de Moffat’, later shedding the ‘de’ over time.

In the year 1268, the ecclesiastical realm witnessed Nicholas de Moffet as Bishop of Glasgow, suggesting a link to the church, as reflected by the family’s armorial bearings of saltires and crosses. A prominent chapter of your family’s history unfolds in 1300 when Robert the Bruce, then Lord of Annandale, granted significant charters of land in the barony of Westerkirk to the Moffats. Among them, Adam Moffat of Knock received ‘the same Barony in Eskdale’, and both he and his brother valiantly fought alongside their clansmen in the pivotal Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. The title of Lairds of Knock remained in your family’s hands until 1609, when it was sold to the Johnstones.

While there were Moffats dwelling in Moffat even prior to 1300, the names of the earliest lairds have faded with time. Yet, your family’s legacy continued to flourish as they were granted the feu of Granton and Reddings in 1342, a gesture from Sir John Douglas, Lord of Annandale. These holdings remained your family’s heartland until 1628, when the lands transitioned to the Johnstones due to financial obligations. A new chapter began in 1759 as your family relocated to Craigbeck in modern Moffatdale, asserting their authority as lairds until 1920.

Diverse branches of the Moffat family thread through history. Some tended the fertile land of Garwald in Eskdalemuir, while others were masterful farmers, laying the foundation for the renowned Lochurr herd of native Galloway cattle. A streak of audaciousness ran through the veins of your ancestors, as they embraced the life of raiders and reivers, often engaged in feuds with other clans, notably the formidable Johnstones. A tragic event in 1557 saw Robert Moffat fall victim to the Johnstones, leading to the loss of your family’s considered leadership. Yet, the past finds a way to rekindle in the present. In 1983, the late Francis Moffat rekindled the flame of your clan’s leadership as he was recognized as the hereditary clan chief. The Lord Lyon reaffirmed your family’s undifferenced arms, paving the way for your esteemed daughter, the current chief, to ascend to the title, ensuring the legacy of the Moffats burns brighter than ever before.

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The Family Crest

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Family Crest Motto: SPERO MELIORA
(I hope for better things)

$99.00

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