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The Irish Rose

Murphy Name History


Murphy Coat of Arms

The history of the name Murphy dates back to a time before the Irish names were translated into English and probably before the written word. The original Gaelic form of Murphy was O Murchadha or Mac Murchadha, which are both derived from the word Murchadha meaning "sea warrior". Name variations include Murchoe, MacMurrough, Murfhy, Morphy, and Murfee. Murphy is said to be the most popular surname in Ireland and from our 20 years of coat of arms research, it is the number one Irish surname in the USA.

Our item #1760 Framed Irish Family Name History has more information on the Murphy surname.

Fun Facts about Murphy

There's the "Murphy Bed," that ingenious design to store a bed into a wall to conserve space. Or Patrick Murphy, who was born in 1832 in County Down and was the tallest man in Europe, standing 8 feet 1 inch.

Murphy's Law

And let's not forget about "Murphy's Law." Here's the story on how Murphy's Law entered the English language.

Born in 1917, Edward A. Murphy, Jr. was one of the engineers on the rocket-sled experiments that were done by the United States Air Force in 1949 to test human acceleration tolerances (USAF project MX981). One experiment involved a set of 16 accelerometers mounted to different parts of the subject's body. There were two ways each sensor could be glued to its mount. Of course, somebody managed to install all 16 the wrong way around. Murphy then made the original form of his pronouncement, which the test subject, Major John Paul Stapp, quoted at a news conference a few days later. Within months, 'Murphy's Law' had spread to various technical cultures connected to aerospace engineering, and finally reached the Webster's dictionary in 1958. Tragically (and perhaps typically), the popular cliche we call 'Murphy's Law' was never uttered by Edward Murphy. The original pronouncement was, If there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.

Gifts for the Murphys in your life

The Irish Rose has a large selection of Murphy coat of arms items. We feature Murphy heraldry on popular gift items like the Ireland Coat of Arms Flag and the Irish Coat of Arms Pint Glass. Any of our coat of arm items would make a lovely wedding, engagement, anniversary, or reunion gift. Visit our Coat of Arms page to see all the products featuring the authentic Irish Murphy coat of arms.

Visit one of the many Murphy's Pubs in Ireland

We had no trouble coming up with a list of Murphy Pubs to visit in Ireland. If you're a Murphy, make sure to drop by one of these fine establishments.

If you can't visit a Murphy's Pub in person, our personalized pub gifts are the next best thing!

Notable Murphys


  • Alex Murphy (rugby league), English rugby league footballer
  • Anthony Murphy (footballer) (born 1982), Irish soccer player
  • Arthur Murphy, several people:
  • Arthur Murphy (1727-–1805), Irish actor and playwright
  • Arthur H. Murphy (1831-–1903), entrepreneur and political figure in Quebec, Canada
  • Arthur P. Murphy (1870-–1914), American Republican politician
  • Audie Murphy (1925–-1971), American war hero and actor
  • Austin J. Murphy (born 1927), Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania


  • Barnes Murphy (born 1947), Famous Sligo Gaelic Footballer
  • Brian Murphy, several people:
  • Brian Murphy (actor) (born 1933), British actor most noted for his role as George Roper in the sitcom George and Mildred
  • Brian Murphy (Canadian politician), former mayor of Moncton in New Brunswick, Canada
  • Brian Murphy (cricketer) (born 1976), former captain of the Zimbabwean cricket team
  • Brian Murphy (dual player) (born 1952), former hurler and Gaelic footballer with Cork, Ireland
  • Brian Murphy (footballer) (born 1983), currently playing for Bohemian F.C.
  • Brian Murphy (politician) (born 1956), first to win independent race in his town
  • Brian Murphy (hurler) (born 1982), corner-back on the Cork, Ireland, senior hurling team
  • Brian Murphy (writer) (born 1959), religion editor for the Associated Press
  • Brittany Murphy (1977–2009), American actress


  • Calvin Murphy (born 1948), American retired basketball player
  • Carolyn Murphy (born 1975), American model
  • Charles Murphy, several people:
  • Charles Murphy (1880-–1958), Irish politician more commonly referred to as Cathal Ó Murchadha
  • Charles Murphy (architect) (1890–-1985), the Chicago based architect of C.F. Murphy Associates, later Murphy/Jahn Inc.
  • Charles Murphy (Canadian politician) (1862–1935)
  • Charles Francis Murphy (1858-–1924), American political figure
  • Charles Minthorn Murphy (1870–-1950), aka "Mile-a-Minute" Murphy, American cyclist
  • Charles Quinton Murphy (born 1959), American writer, actor, and stand-up comedian
  • Charles Terrence Murphy (politician) (born 1926), Canadian politician
  • Cillian Murphy (born 1976), Irish actor
  • Colin Murphy, several people:
  • Colin Murphy (comedian), Irish comedian
  • Colin Murphy (footballer), English football manager
  • Colin Murphy (ice hockey) (born 1980), Canadian ice-hockey player
  • Conor Murphy, Sinn Féin politician in Northern Ireland


  • Dale Murphy, several people:
  • Dale Murphy (born 1956), American retired baseball player
  • Dale D. Murphy, professor at Georgetown University
  • Daniel Murphy, several people
  • Danny Murphy, several people
  • Daryl Murphy, Irish professional football player
  • David Murphy, several people:
  • David Murphy (baseball) (born 1981), American
  • David Murphy (CIA), CIA's station chief in Berlin from 1959–1961
  • David Murphy (conductor), Welsh
  • David Murphy (footballer) (born 1984), English
  • David Lee Murphy (born 1959), American country music singer-songwriter
  • Dervla Murphy (born 1931), travel writer
  • Dick Murphy (born 1942), American retired Republican politician
  • Donald E. Murphy (born 1960), American Republican politician
  • Donna Murphy (born 1958), American Tony Award winning actress
  • Donnie Murphy, American Baseball Player


  • Eddie Murphy, several people:
  • Eddie Murphy (born 1961), American comedian and actor
  • Eddie Murphy (1891-–1969), American baseball player
  • Edgar Gardner Murphy (1869–1913), American clergyman and author
  • Edward Murphy, several people, most notably:
  • Major Edward A. Murphy, Jr. 1918–1990, American aerospace engineer linked with Murphy's Law
  • Elliott Murphy (born 1949), American singer/songwriter
  • Erin Murphy, several people:
  • Erin Murphy (born 1964), American actress
  • Erin Murphy, American poet
  • Erin Murphy (politician) (born 1960), Minnesota politician
  • Everett J. Murphy (1852–-1922), politician


  • Francis Murphy, several people:
  • Francis Murphy (bishop) (1795–1858), Australian bishop
  • Francis Murphy (evangelist) (1836–1907), American temperance evangelist
  • Francis P. Murphy (1877-–1958), Republican 73rd Governor of New Hampshire
  • Francis X. Murphy (1915-2002), Catholic theologian and chaplain
  • Frank Murphy, several people:
  • Frank Murphy (1890–-1949), former Justice of the United States Supreme Court
  • Frank Murphy (American football) (born 1977), former NFL player
  • Frank Murphy (rugby player) (born 1981), Irish professional rugby union player
  • B. Frank Murphy (1867–-1938), U.S. Representative from Ohio


  • George Murphy (1902-–1992, American dancer, actor, and Republican Senator
  • Gillian Murphy, principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre


  • Henry Murphy, several people:
  • Henry Murphy (1877–-1954), American architect
  • Henry Cruse Murphy (1810–1882), American politician from New York and U.S. minister to the Netherlands


  • Isaac Murphy, several people:
  • Isaac Murphy (1802–-1882), Republican Governor of Arkansas
  • Isaac Burns Murphy (1861-–1896), American Hall of Fame jockey


  • Jack Murphy, several people:
  • Jack Murphy (Irish Politician) (1920-–1984), Irish republican and independent politician
  • Jack Murphy (footballer) (born 1918), retired Australian Rules footballer
  • Jack Murphy (sportswriter) (1923-–1980), American sportswriter and brother of Bob Murphy
  • Jack M. Murphy (1925–-1984), Republican Lieutenant Governor of Idaho
  • Jack Roland Murphy (born 1938), aka Murph the Surf, American, convicted robber and murderer
  • James or Jimmy Murphy, several people:
  • James Murphy (electronic musician) (born 1970), American
  • James Murphy (musician) (born 1967), American heavy metal guitarist
  • James Murphy (soccer), retired American soccer player
  • James "Quick" Murphy (born 1959), retired Canadian football player
  • James A. Murphy III, District Attorney, Saratoga County, New York
  • James Anthony Murphy (1894-–1924), "Jimmy" Murphy, American racing driver
  • James J. Murphy (1898–-1962), a United States Representative from New York
  • James William Murphy (1858–-1927), a United States Representative from Wisconsin
  • Jimmy Murphy (cartoonist) (1891–-1965), cartoonist of Toots and Casper comic strip
  • Jimmy Murphy (footballer) (1910-–1989), Welsh football player and manager
  • Jimmy Murphy (musician), (1925–-1981), American Country musician
  • Jimmy Murphy (playwright) (born 1962), Irish playwright
  • John Murphy, several people:
  • John Murphy (Alabama) (1786-–1841), American Democratic Governor and Congressman from Alabama
  • John Murphy (announcer), American football announcer for the Buffalo Bills
  • John Murphy (Australian politician) (born 1950), member of the House of Representatives
  • John Murphy (Australian rules footballer) (born 1949), former champion player with the Fitzroy Football Club in the 1960s and 1970s
  • John Murphy (baseball infielder) (died 1949), aka Soldier Boy, a baseball infielder
  • John Murphy (baseball pitcher), a 19th century baseball pitcher
  • John Murphy (Canadian politician) (born 1937), member of the Canadian House of Commons from 1993–1997
  • John Murphy (composer) (born 1965), British composer of film scores
  • John Murphy (economist), financial market analyst
  • John Murphy (footballer) (born 1976), English striker for Chester City
  • John Murphy (musician) (born 1959), sometimes credited as "Jonh Murphy", Australian drummer and multi-instrument musician
  • John Murphy (playwright) (1929-–1998), Irish dramatist, author of The Country Boy.
  • John Murphy (swimmer) (born 1953), retired American Olympic gold medalist in swimming
  • Father John Murphy (1753-–1798), one of the leaders during the Irish Rebellion of 1798
  • John A. Murphy (born 1927), Irish historian and former independent Senator from Cork
  • John Alphonsus Murphy, American Medal of Honor recipient
  • John Benjamin Murphy (1857–-1916), American surgeon, president of the American Medical Association in 1911
  • John E. Murphy (1869–1941), United States Navy sailor and Medal of Honor recipient during the Spanish-American War
  • John Francis Murphy (1853–-1921), American landscape painter
  • John J. Murphy (born 1959), American Republican politician
  • John Michael Murphy, US Congressman from New York, implicated in Abscam
  • John W. Murphy (1902-–1962), American Democratic Congressman from Pennsylvania
  • John W. Murphy (Connecticut), former mayor of New Haven, Connecticut
  • Julie Murphy, American novelist


  • Kelly Murphy (born 1977), American author and illustrator
  • Kevin Murphy (actor) (born 1956), American actor, author and puppeteer
  • Kevin Murphy (American football) (born 1963), retired American football player
  • Kevin Murphy (screenwriter), American screenwriter, television producer, and composer
  • Kevin Murphy (swimmer) (born 1949), "King of the Channel" title holder for crossing the English Channel
  • Kevin M. Murphy, economist and professor at the University of Chicago


  • Lambert Murphy (1885–?), American tenor, sang at the Metropolitan Opera
  • Larry Murphy (born 1961), Canadian retired professional ice hockey player
  • Lionel Murphy (born 1922), Australian politician and jurist


  • Marc Murphy (born 1987), Australian rules footballer
  • Margaret Mary Healy Murphy (1833–1907), American Catholic nun
  • Mark Murphy (safety b. 1958) (born 1958), retired American football player
  • Mark Murphy (safety b. 1955) (born 1955), retired American football player, now President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers
  • Mark Murphy (singer) (born c. 1932), American jazz singer
  • Martin Murphy (1832–), Canadian civil engineer
  • Mary Murphy (actress) (born 1931), American actress
  • Mary Murphy, American choreographer
  • Mary Murphy (politician) (born 1940), American politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Mary Murphy (reporter) (born 1959), American reporter and anchorwomanMatt Murphy, several people:
  • Matt Murphy (American football) (born 1980), American football player
  • Matt Murphy (blues guitarist) (born 1927), aka Matt "Guitar" Murphy , an American musician
  • Matt Murphy (Canadian musician)
  • Matt Murphy (Illinois politician), an American Republican Senator
  • Matt Murphy (wrestler) (born 1979), aka "All That" Matt Murphy, a retired American professional wrestler
  • Michael Murphy, several people:
  • Michael Murphy (actor) (born 1938), American actor
  • Michael Murphy (author) (born 1930), American Integral Movement author and co-founder of the Esalen Institute
  • Michael Murphy (diver) (born 1973), retired Australian Olympic diver
  • Michael Murphy (politician) (born 1949), New Jersey lobbyist, former Prosecutor and candidate for Governor
  • Michael Murphy (priest) (c. 1767–1798), co-leader in the Irish Rebellion of 1798
  • Michael Murphy (singer) (born 1986), New Zealand Idol runner up
  • Michael Murphy (VC) (c. 1837–-1893), Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Michael Bryan Murphy, former lead singer of REO Speedwagon
  • Michael D. Murphy, United States Air Force Colonel under charges for falsely claiming to be an attorney
  • Michael P. Murphy (1976–-2005), United States Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient, killed in action in Afghanistan
  • Michael Martin Murphey (born 1945, American singer and songwriter
  • Mick Murphy (Irish Socialist Party), Irish socialist party politician from Dublin
  • Mick Murphy (Sinn Féin politician) (born 1942)
  • Mike Murphy (broadcaster) (born 1941), retired Irish broadcaster
  • Mike Murphy (Hong Kong), professor at the University of Hong Kong
  • Mike Murphy (ice hockey b. 1950), retired ice hockey player and head coach, currently NHL vice-president of hockey operations
  • Mike Murphy (ice hockey b. 1989), ice hockey player for the Belleville Bulls of the Ontario Hockey League
  • Mike Murphy (New Brunswick politician) (born 1958), Canadian lawyer and Liberal politician
  • Mike Murphy (political consultant) (born 1962), American Republican political consultant
  • Mike Murphy (Washington politician), Democratic Treasurer of the State of Washington


  • Nicholas Murphy (born 1978), Gaelic footballer
  • Nicholas Daniel Murphy (1811-–1890), Irish politician from Cork, Member of Parliament (MP) 1865-–1880
  • Nick Murphy (born 1979), American football player
  • Nick Murphy (American football) (born 1979), American football player
  • Nick Murphy (footballer born 1946) (born 1946), English footballer
  • Nick Murphy (footballer born 1966) (1966–1998), English footballer
  • Nick Murphy (writer) (born 1977), Irish writer


  • Oakes Murphy (1849–1908), Two-time Governor of Arizona Territory


  • Peter Murphy (artist) (born 1959), English Stuckist artist
  • Peter Murphy (footballer born 1980) (born 1980), Irish international footballer
  • Peter Murphy, American lawyer and officer in the United States Marine Corps
  • Peter Murphy (musician) (born 1957), British musician with Bauhaus
  • Peter Murphy (politician) (born 1949), American politician, Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
  • Peter Murphy (UK footballer) (1922–1975), aka "Spud" Murphy, English footballer
  • Peter Murphy (executive) American entertainment executive
  • Philip D. Murphy (born 1957), ambassador


  • Dick Murphy (Richard M. Murphy) (born 1942), American retired Republican politician
  • Richard Murphy, Scottish architect
  • Richard Murphy (poet) (born 1927), Irish poet
  • Richard Murphy (screenwriter) (1912–1993), American film and television writer
  • Richard L. Murphy (1875–1936), American Senator from Iowa
  • Richard W. Murphy (born 1929), American diplomat
  • Rob Murphy (born 1960), American retired baseball player
  • Rob Murphy, American assista basketball coach
  • Rob Murphy (football player) (born 1977), professional Canadian football player
  • Rob Murphy (ice hockey) (born 1969), Canadian retired ice hockey player
  • Irish Bob Murphy (1922–1961), American light heavyweight boxer
  • Bob Murphy (announcer) (1924–2004), American baseball announcer
  • Bob Murphy (golfer) (born 1943), American PGA winning golfer
  • Bob Murphy, Canadian jazz pianist
  • Robert Murphy (Australian rules footballer) (born 1982), Australian rules football
  • Robert C. Murphy (1926–2000), American lawyer and judge
  • Robert Cushman Murphy (1887–1973), American ornithologist
  • Robert Daniel Murphy (1894&ndas1978), American diplomat
  • Robert F. Murphy, American retired Republican politician, Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts from 1957 to 1961
  • Robert F. Murphy (anthropologist) (1924–1990), American anthropologist
  • Robert P. Murphy (born 1976), American economist and author
  • Robert S. Murphy (1861–1912), American politician, Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania from 1907 to 1911
  • Roger P. Murphy, American legislator and jurist
  • Róisín Murphy (born 1973), Irish electronica singer, songwriter, and producer
  • Ryan Murphy (Australian rules footballer) (born 1985)
  • Ryan Murphy, American television writer, director and producer


  • Scott Murphy, former US Representative for New York's 20th congressional district
  • Scott Murphy, a programmer behind the Space Quest series
  • Sean Murphy, cartoonist
  • Sean Murphy, professor at Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Seán Murphy, retired Irish football player
  • Sean Murphy (golfer) (born 1965), American professional golfer
  • Sean Murphy (journalist) (born 1958), Australian journalist
  • Sean Murphy, a fictional character on the television series Oz
  • Sean Murphy (racer) (born 1984)
  • Shaun Murphy (cue sports) (born 1982), English snooker player
  • Shaun Murphy (footballer) (born 1970), retired Australian soccer player
  • Shaun Murphy, aka Stoney, American singer


  • Tim Murphy (born 1959), retired Canadian politician
  • Tim Murphy, a fictional character in Jurassic Park
  • Tim Murphy (congressman) (born 1952), American Republican politician
  • Tim Murphy, currently at Harvard University
  • Timothy Murphy (1751–1818), sniper in the American Revolutionary War
  • Timothy D. Murphy (died 1928), aka "Big Tim", Chicago mobster and labour racketeer
  • Timothy J. Murphy (died 1949), Irish Labour Party politician
  • Timothy Patrick Murphy (1959–1988), American film and television actor
  • Tom Murphy (athlete) (born 1935), American middle distance runner
  • Troy Murphy, power forward for the Boston Celtics


  • Vincent B. Murphy, NYS Comptroller 1925–1926
  • Vincent J. Murphy, Mayor of Newark 1941–1949
  • Wendell H. Murphy, North Carolina politician


  • William Murphy, several people


  • Yale Murphy (1869–1906), American baseball player
  • Yo Murphy, football player, CFL, NFL

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