Murphy, ó Murchadha, ó Murchú A Gaelic surname and the most numerous surname in Ireland, meaning descendant of Murchadh. The male personal name Murchadh means ‘sea-battler’ and it was one of the more popular early Irish names. A sept of Muscraidhe (Muskerry) in Cork who were either of the Múscraighe Mitine, or of the Uí Chonaill Gabhra. A sept of Cineál Eoghain, who were chiefs of Síol Aodha, in the present Tyrone. A sept of the Uí Fiachrach who were chiefs of a district on the southern shore of Sligo Bay, now in the parishes of Skreen and Templeboy, these were displaced in the thirteenth century. A sept of the Uí Chinsealaigh in Wexford, who were chiefs of Uí Feilme, which comprised the barony of Ballaghkeen, in the east of that county. In addition there would have been other septs. In 1890, the estimated number of bearers was 62,600, and it was the most numerous surname in Armagh and Wexford. In that year the surname was distributed throughout the country, the largest number of births being found in Cork (500), Dublin and Wexford. In the United States Murphy is the 59th most numerous surname with an estimated 321,750 bearers, and Murphey is the 6,025th most numerous surname wiith an estimated 5,500 bearers. In England and Wales in 1996 it was the 60th most numerous surname. In Scotland in 1995 it was the 63rd most numerous surname.
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