Clan Muir/More History
This name is found in a number of variants throughout Scotland – in the northern isles Moar is common, while the Aberdonian spelling of Moir is to be found on and around the east coast. In the lowlands, neither of these spellings is to be found, though the name Muir is very widespread. The gaelic ‘mór’ is translated as ‘large’ or ‘big’, and the surname may simply refer to such physical attributes.
As one of the commonest descriptive titles given to a man, in the oldest surviving tongue of the country, it is hardly surprising that the name is widely dispersed in its variants. An alternative lowland derivation of the name comes from the middle English for a “low grassy hill or heath”, but this seems to have no connection with the highland branches of the clan.
The name More first crops up in Scotland in the thirteenth century, and gained prominence in 1317 when Robertus More became a burgess of Aberdeen. In the following century, the name appears prevalent in areas in which the Norse tongue was still spoken, most notably Orkney and Shetland.
The chief family of the lowland branches were the Mures of Rowallan in Ayrshire. One of the daughters of Sir Adam Mure married the future King Robert II and ensured the prosperity of this line of the family. This prosperity continued until the male line died out in 1700, when the family were persecuted as Covenanters.
The family estates were lost at this time, and eventually passed to the Earls of Loudon.
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