Descendants of

Robert Muirhead

Generation No. 1

1. ROBERT MUIRHEAD1, the immigrant progenitor of this family that settled in the English colony of Pennsylvania, was believed to have been born in the clyde valley, scotland. The name of his wife is not known.


A. JAMES2 MOORHEAD, b. 1730, enroute to America in the Atlantic Ocean; d. August 04, 1814, huntingdon twp, york county, pennsylvania.


Historical Notes On Robert Muirhead

 I have not discovered any actual public records to prove, without a doubt, who Robert Muirhead descended from. A very educated quess, though, can be made from various genealogical records.

 Robert first appeared in public records in the colony of Pennsylvania in the year 1748, when he purchased land in then-York / now-Adams County near the town of York Springs. Our knowledge of the origins of Robert Muirhead and his son, James Moorhead, comes primarily from a letter written to William M. Moorhead of Belleville, Wisconsin from Eliza J. (Moorhead) Lieber on 27 Jan. 1886. In that letter Mrs. Lieber asked Mr. Moorhead to "Excuse my very long letter. My excuse is our clan do not know their relations and don't appear to care to know them."

 According to the family tradition as told by Mrs. Lieber, Robert Muirhead came from County Clare in Ireland. Subsequent genealogical searches in the records available for Ireland, and in particular County Clare, proved that idea incorrect. No records whatsoever could be found to prove the existence of any people by the name of Muirhead, or any of its variations, in County Clare at any time in its history. All evidence pointed toward Scotland as the original homeland of the Muirheads. It is possible that the ship on which the Muirhead family emigrated from Scotland might have stopped briefly at a port on the coast of County Clare prior to heading across the Atlantic Ocean, possibly to take on supplies, and thereby provided a very minute, albeit incorrect, detail and a place name for the family tradition.

 A more plausible suggestion is that Robert Muirhead was the fifth child / fourth son of John Muirhead, Sr., and his wife ----- -----. John Muirhead was born circa 1668, presumably at Ulster, Ireland. He and his wife raised a family of six children: John Jr, Preston, William, Mary Elizabeth, Robert and David John.

 Thomas Muirhead is believed to have been part of the settlement of Ulster during the 1610 to 1640 period. He had a son, Thomas Muirhead, Jr. And Thomas Muirhead, Jr., had a son, named John. Although it is assumed that Thomas Muirhead, Sr., would have been the one to move from Scotland to Ireland, no documentation exists to prove for certain which generation was the emigrant one. The first person of note in the Ulster Settlement was John Muirhead, grandson of Thomas, Sr. John Muirhead was born circa 1668. He resided in County Monaghan, in the province of Ulster in Ireland, during the late 1600s and early 1700s. According to some researchers (including the Muirhead Clan Society database), John married Barbara -----; and they gave birth to eight children: Preston, born 1690; William, born 30 May, 1694; Mary Elizabeth, born 1697; Robert, born 1699; David John, born 1704; James, born 1710; Samuel, born between 1711 and 1717; Charles, born 1712; and John, born 1712. Ben Morehead, a researcher of this family, presents a more convincing scenario of the family by inserting an additional generation between John Muirhead of 1668 and the children born between 1690 and 1712. He lists another John Moorhead, born in the year 1682 at Clones, Ireland. This John Moorhead married Janet Rae (variously, Jenet Rhe) in the year 1707. Ben also gives Samuel’s birthdate as the year 1708. Therefore, John Muirhead, born in the year 1668, would have been the father of the children: John, born 1682; Preston, born 1690; William, born 30 May, 1694; Mary Elizabeth, born 1697; Robert, born 1699; and David John, born 1704.

  Click on this icon for information on the ancient history of Clan Muirhead, at the Muirhead Clan Society website.

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