Ray Jerome Muirhead, in his book, “The Henry Muirheid / Muirhead Family Of Virginia & Mississippi”, recounted a legend regarding the manner in which the Muirhead family acquired its lands and titles. This legend comes to us from Walter Clyde Muirhead, a great-nephew of William DeKalb Muirhead (born ca 1831 in Mississippi), who apparently heard the tale from his ancestors.(7.9)
In very early times, the government in Scotland formed a posse of local men to track down and capture a vicious criminal, who robbed and mistreated not only individuals who lived in his area but also travelers passing by. Two Muirhead brothers were appointed to the posse and instructed to assist in the capture of the wanted man. During a search for the man in the Highlands, one Muirhead brother obtained information on the whereabouts of the criminal and attempted to take him by force. The criminal became so fierce and uncooperative that the one Muirhead brother was forced to kill him. Unfortunately, the immense size of the criminal made it impossible for Muirhead to bring him down from the highlands, therefore, the lone Muirhead cut off the criminal’s head and subsequently delivered it to the authorities in Edinburgh as proof of the criminal’s capture. For that brave deed, Muirhead received compensation in the form of money, land, and a title. From that time on the name Muirhead became Morehead.