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Additional Details of BY3368 Muir/Mure/Moore Lines

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Muir/Moore Lines under BY3368

The following list is of family lines... all from Group 2 of the Moore Worldwide Y DNA Project (Family Tree DNA)... identified among Y DNA testers. As indicated in the list, some have descendants who have tested to a terminal haplogroup (usually meaning they have tested at the Big Y level, through FTDNA), while others have tested to a lower level and are in need of an upgrade in testing. Some names will be added that have yet to have a descendant test. Note that there are nearly one-hundred (ninety-seven, as of Aug 2020) test takers classified under Group 2 of the Moore Worldwide Y DNA Project, so names of the oldest ancestors they claim are slowly being added to this. Please check back for the completion of this effort:

  • Moore, Benjamin D., b. 1777, Maryland; d. 1855, Rush Co., Indiana. One descendant has tested Y-12, to M269; neesd upgrade to Big Y-700 for terminal haplogroup.
  • Moore, Benjamin D., d. 1810, Bourbon Co., Kentucky. One descendant has tested Y-111, to L21; needs upgrade to Big Y-700 for terminal haplogroup.
  • Moore, Carroll, b. ca. 1750. Tested to terminal haplogroup BY188117.
  • Moore, David Dayton, ca. 1814, New Hampshire - 1895, Minnesota. One descendant has tested Y-111, to M269; for terminal haplogroup. May be from the same line as James Moore (1702-1773). Based on closest matches (at a Genetic Distance of 1 and 2), may test to BY194967.
  • Muir, Hugh, 1843, Dumfries, Scotland; d. 1931, Carbondale, Pennsylvania. Tested to terminal haplogroup FT48485.
  • Moore, James, b. ca. 1644, d. 1735, Prince George's County, Maryland. Tested to Haplogroup FT176771, with branches.
  • Moore, James, b. 1702, Merrimack County, New Hampshire; d. 1773, Merrimack Co., New Hampshire. One descendant has only tested Y-37, to M269; for terminal haplogroup.
  • Moore, James, b. ca. 1740, Ireland(?); d. 1819, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. One descendant has tested at Y-111, to Haplogroup DF21; needs upgrade to Big Y-700 for terminal haplogroup.
  • Moore, John, b. ca. 1719, Ireland or Bucks County, Pennsylvania., d. 1806, Lincoln, North Carolina. Tested to terminal haplogroup BY188117.
  • Muir, John, b. ca. 1748, Ayrshire, Scotland. Tested to terminal haplogroup Y133164.
  • Moore, John Andrew, b. ca. 1745, Scotland; d. 1816, Iredell Co., North Carolina. One descendant has only tested to Y-37. Needs upgrade to Big Y-700 for terminal haplogroup.
  • Moore, Patrick, b. ca. 1740, Ireland; d. ca. 1783, Ninety-Six, South Carolina (no tree available). Tested to terminal haplogroup BY141776.
  • Muir, Thomas Henry, b. ca. 1800 (no tree available). Tested to terminal haplogroup Y133180.
  • Moore, William, 1736, Ayrshire; d. 1822, Ahoghill, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. One descendant has tested Y-111, to CTS3655; needs upgrade to Big Y-700 for terminal haplogroup.
  • Moore, William, 1826-1905 (no tree available). Tested to terminal haplogroup Y133164.

Muir/Moore Lines without Y DNA test takers, to date

Surname Origins

There is a long-held belief that the names Muir and Moore originated based on where they lived... in this case, either a moor (bog) or heath (an area of open uncultivated land, especially in Britain, with characteristic vegetation of heather, gorse, and coarse grasses)... or meant "stately or noble"... or a big or large man. Considering what Y DNA is showing (in that there are currently nearly 900 test-takers, classified under nearly 100 different categories, based on haplogroups), and that these 100 classifications are not always closely related, a single, defined origin of the surname seems unlikely. The surname Muir/Moore may be dependent on where the particular group of people originated (especially just prior to the adaptation of surnames), and until one knows where their particular line originated, they simply don't know the origins of the surname.

The Scots meaning (and this may even be dependent on what part of Scotland the particular line came from) may be rooted in the usage of the Gaelic (and remember, by the 12th century, the Celtic Britons of Strathclyde had assimilated with the Gaels) word "mor", meaning "big" or "large man". Because of their Celtic Briton origins, I have to disagree with the conclusions of some who project the Muir/Mure/Moore line of SW Scotland as originating in the Gaelic Ó Mórdha... with the "Ó", meaning "descendant of", and "Mórdha" meaning "great, chief, mighty, or proud." For that matter, considering shared origins with the people of Strathclyde, the Welsh word "mowr" might bear consideration, and means "great". The first named person documented to the Muir/Mure/Moore line of SW Scotland... David de More... also had the "of" prefix, with "de".

On the other hand, the English interpretation seems to focus more on physical place of origin... in this case, the moors... the bogs and/or uncultivated land.

No matter the case, we might wish to remain reserved... indeed, skeptical... of even these, and focus attentions on what we CAN know, or at least have a good chance of knowing better.

Muir/Mure/More of SW Scotland

David de More

The first Mor/de Mor/Mure/Muir with solid documentation to Ayr is David de More. "The most ancient of the name on record are the Mores of Polkelly, near Kilmarnock ; one of whom, David de More, appears as witness to a charter of Alexander II", between 1214 and 1249.[1][2] This is quite possibly the same "David Mor" who was a consentor of an agreement between burgesses of Irvine and Godfrey de Ross, on 19 Jun 1260.[3]

Sir Gilchrist Mure/Muir

The second Mor/Mure/Muir with solid documentation to Scotland appears in the story of Sir Gilchrist Mure/Muir (ca. 1200 - ca. 1280), at the Battle of Lairges/Largs, on 2 October 1263. Given the naming tradition, and locality (Ayr), it appears at least three descendants of his (Adam, Gilchrist, and Reginald/Ronald) appear in the Ragman Rolls, thirty-three years later. [4]

"Mores" Listed in the Ragman Rolls of 1296 AD

  • More (Mor) de Cragg, Reynaud (del counte de Lanark) - translated = Reginald Muir of Cragg of Lanark, Lanarkshire[5]
  • More de Leuenaghes, Douenal le fiz Michel (del counte de Dunbretan) - translated = Donald, son of Michael Muir of Lennox.[6]
  • More, de Thaugarfton, Symon de la (del counte de Lanark) - translated = Simon of the More, of Thankerton, Lanarkshire [7]
  • More, Adam de la (del counte de Are) - translated = Adam Muir of Ayr/Ayrshire[8]
  • More, Gilcrift (del counte de Are) - translated = Gilchrist Muir of Ayr/Ayrshire[9]
  • More, Renaud de la (Renaud) (del counte de Are) - translated = Reginald Muir of Ayr/Ayrshire[10]

Some counties and towns are also in an unfamiliar form: Are=Ayrshire, Dunbretan=Dumbartonshire .

A Claim to Clan Muir? Is it a Legitimate clan?

The claim is that Clan Muir is a Scottish clan that is armigerous (it has no chief recognized by the Court of the Lord Lyon). While some members of Clan Muir claim it as an independent clan rooted in Ayrshire and the surrounding area, some, in Ayrshire, are believed to be of a sept of Clan Boyd. Furthermore, Clan Muir is, in fact, per the Lord Lyon Court, an officially registered clan.

This being said, and despite an effort made by several, in more recent years, to suggest Clan Muir is an ancient clan... in fact, it may be a mid-to-late 19th or 20th century creation (if anyone has primary source material to the contrary, that shows the phrase "Clan Muir" prior to the 19th century, please let us know). There is no record, or "history" of the supposed clan, documented to any primary resources, prior to the 20th century. Further, as Lowland Scots, it's highly unlikely that such a clan existed prior to the 19th century. To quote the wife of a Y DNA Muir cousin of ours, who still lives in Scotland:

I also bristle at 'Clan Muir' as there never was a Clan Muir. The Lowlanders never organized into clans. Calling Lowland surnames out as clan names is regarded as an American affectation and the tartans have been designed in the last hundred years or so specifically to sell to Americans. Lowlanders didn't have tartans and my husband would happily have the head of anyone who buys one![11]

Perhaps the most glaring reality of the matter is that, in his reflections on the Muir line, in Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane, Sir William Muir (1594-1657) makes no reference, whatsoever, to a clan system for the Muir family. Additionally, while the book was not published until 1825, the written work itself was produced prior to Sir William Muir's death in 1657. There is no written history of the Muir line known to exist prior to the publication of this work. Note also, the claimed tartan of Clan Muir is actually a registered tartan... not to Clan Muir, but (as per the official Tartan Registry) to "Muir and Moore". While the actual legitimacy of an "ancient" Clan Muir is questionable, the history of the Muir/Mure/Moore lines of Southwest Scotland more than compensates.

Clan Muir Crest

The crest adopted (though there is no record of who did so and how the decision was made) is a "A savage head couped Proper". In contemporary renditions on the market, it appears much more like a Viking's head than a Moor's head, which is in conformity with what was stated in Sir William Mure's Historie. See The Moor's Head on the Crest, below.

Clan Muir Motto

The Clan Muir motto is said to be "Durum patientia frango", which, interestingly, is very close to the motto attributed to the Mure line of Caldwell, Renfrewshire, which is "Duris non frangor". Though the Mure line of Caldwell descends from the Mures of Rowallan, there is no motto listed for the Mures of Rowallan.[12]

Muir/Moore Tartan

The Muir tartan, is, in fact, registered as the "Muir/Moore tartan", with no mention of it being associated with a "clan". It has the traditional blue - black - green base, but with an unusual motif of three narrow red stripes appearing twice on the green square. A similar device is seen in the Cochrane tartan. The threadcount of this illustration comes from a sample in the collection of John MacGregor Hastie, who collected tartans between 1930 and 1950, and whose work formed the basis of the archive at the Scottish Tartans Society. The tartan was documented in John Ross's, Land of the Scottish Gael (1930). Samples in Scottish Tartans Authority Dalgety Collection. Per the Scottish Register of Tartans (2009) , the date of this tartan is 1 Jan 1880.[13]

A Muir/Mure/Moore Coat of Arms

The earliest known coat of arms used by Sir Gilcrist Muir/Mure, is documented. In fact, his particular CoA is blended, with that of the Comyn CoA (since he married a Comyn). Per Sir William Mure (1594-1657):

...two coats in one scutshion quarterly, To witt the first quarter Argent a fesse parting equallie the field, Azure, Chargd with thrie stars, Or, The second Azure Chargd with thrie garbs, Or, marshalled two above one, the third as the second, the fourth as the first.[14]

After that, however, there are multiple coats of arm for Moores, often bearing some of the same symbology, though they were not always genealogically connected. Claiming a particular coat of arms is difficult in the Muir/Moore lines, as you must make a clear, documented connection. Per the College of Arms:

Coats of arms belong to individuals. For any person to have a right to a coat of arms they must either have had it granted to them or be descended in the legitimate male line from a person to whom arms were granted or confirmed in the past.[15]

The Moor's Head on the Crest

Some have suggested that a Moor's head, often seen on different coa's of the Moore line, is indicative of our genetic ancestry in the Moors. Based on a number of facts, this is untrue.

First, as can be seen throughout these pages, the Y DNA clearly shows that the Muir/Mure/Moore lines which emerged in the area in and around Ayrshire, in the 11th century, had ethnic origins that were quite different, and were most certainly not descendants of the Moors. Second, for his participation with Sir James Douglas and company, in the campaign against the Moors, in 1330 (concluding with the battle of Teba), Sir Kenneth de More/Moir/Muir[16], supposed grandson or nephew of Ranald de la More/Reginald de Mure[17] , is said to have received a distinctive addition to his armorial bearing... "Below the helmet are three Moor heads in their gore cut proper with blood dripping arranged in a perfect triangle. To draw away attention from the triangular symmetry and to the answer the question why three over the centuries arose the saying, 'one Christian Moir slew three pagan Moors.'"[18] It would seem that, eventually, the symbology was reduced to one head in other Muir/Mure/Moore arms (interestingly, another topic of conversation, as they were not genetic kin) which adopted the Moor head in their crest. Yet, in Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane, there is a footnote, attributed to a resource held at Rowallan, dating to 1377, and also appearing in the Genealogy Tree of Rowallan, dated 1597, which states (roughly interpreted from the original Latin):

This Gilchrist Moir for his reward of valiant service to King Alexander (III) at the battle of the Largs, in the year 1263; obtained the heretrix of Rowallane (Rowallan being passed from his wife to him, at the generosity of King Alexander III) and, entitlement to bear his arms with the bludy heid...[19]

Despite the note in Mure's Historie, and curiously, The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales shows no crest for the Mure line of Rowallan, but shows the "Saracen's Head" being used in the crest of the Mure line of Caldwell, Renfrewshire. [20]

So, essentially, sometime prior to his death, ca. 1280, the "bloody head" was part of the arms of Sir Gilchrist Muir, but it was not a Moor's head, but, rather, a Viking head, representing noteworthy service to Alexander III, against the Vikings, at the Largs. Indeed, though "Clan Muir" was a commemorative entity (sometime well after the Sir Walter Scott Clan "craze") until the 19th or 20th century, it did adopt a "A savage head couped Proper", which, in contemporary images, looks much more like a Viking's head than a Moor's head.

Muir/Mure Castles

The Muir/Mure lines of Ayrshire have had history in measurable years, associated with a number of castles, most especially, Polkelly, Rowallan, Caldwell, and Cloncaird. More information forthcoming.

BY3368's closest Irish "cousins": Haplogroup A818

Moving up the haplogroup tree from BY3368, the next haplogroup showing descendants with the surname Moore is L1402>A818 (Seven Septs of Laois). In other words, the last time Moores under A818 shared a common ancestor with test takers with Muir/Mure/Moore ancestry under BY3368 was over 3000 years ago, sometime before 998 BC and after 1976 BC. Given the years in difference, it is highly unlikely they shared a common ancestor that used the name Muir/Mure/Moore, or anything similar. While Ireland was one of the first places in Europe to adopt hereditary surnames, even the earliest evidence of persistence dated to the 10th century AD.

Different and unrelated Moore Y DNA

There is a misconception with some that all Moore lines are related. in fact, as early as the 1500s, Sir William Mure of Rowallan suggested this of lines in Scotland, Ireland, and England. Yet, Y DNA has proven this not all all true. For further information, see the Moore (and variations) Y DNA Project.

BY3368 Home Page


  1. A Genealogical & Heraldric History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland, John Burke, Esq., 1834; Retrieved 20 August 2020
  2. History of the County of Ayr, with a genealogical account of the families of Ayrshire, James Paterson, 1847; Retrieved 20 August 2020
  3. David Mor, in People of Medieval Scotland, 1093-1371; Retrieved 20 August 2020
  4. Battle of Largs, in Wikipedia; Retrieved 20 August 2020
  5. Reginald Muir of Cragg, in People of Medieval Scotland, 1093 - 1371; Retrieved 17 August 2020
  6. Donald, son of Michael Muir of Lennox, in People of Medieval Scotland, 1093 - 1371; Retrieved 17 August 2020
  7. Simon de la More, of Thankerton, in People of Medieval Scotland, 1093 - 1371; Retrieved 17 August 2020
  8. Adam Muir of Ayr/Ayrshire, in People of Medieval Scotland, 1093 - 1371; Retrieved 17 August 2020
  9. Gilchrist Mor, in People of Medieval Scotland, 1093 - 1371; Retrieved 17 August 2020
  10. Reginald Muir of Ayr/Ayrshire, in People of Medieval Scotland, 1093 - 1371; Retrieved 17 August 2020
  11. Private email of 16 Feb 2020, in exchange of emails between Robert Moore and wife of a BY3368 cousin, born in Ayrshire, and still a resident of Scotland.
  12. Burke, Bernard, The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, Harrison and Sons, 1864; p. 716], Retrieved 24 August 2020
  13. Muir/Moore Tartan - The Scottish Register of Tartans, Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  14. Mure, Sir William, The Historie and Descent of the House of Rowallane, Chalmers and Collins, Glasgow, 1825, p. 24
  15. College of Arms - FAQs: heraldry, Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  16. Kenneth Moir, in Wikipedia, Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  17. Reginald de Mure, in Wikipedia, Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  18. Moir, Alexander L.,. Moir Genealogy and collateral lines: with historical notes. unknown: The author, Lowell, MA, 1913.
  19. Mure, Historie", p. 35
  20. Burke, 716], Retrieved 24 August 2020

Comments: 23

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We received the first Big Y results for the descendant of Benjamin D. Moore d. 1810 KY : Haplogroup R-BY3374. The tester has a brother who could test, but no Moore male cousins, and not even any other known Moore males in his tree.
Give it about two weeks for the manual processing, but I suspect (like two others who currently have BY3374 as a terminal haplogroup), he's not in your branch, but, rather, he's a new branch of BY3374 that will only be identified when a closer relative tests
posted by Robert Moore II
It would definitely be useful to kit 198512 to test his brother. It might be the only way to unlock the subclades for that branch of BY3374.
posted by Robert Moore II
Regarding 198512 proving not to be in your haplotree... it's one of the things I find particularly interesting (and sometimes challenging) that we have so many "run-on" matches that look like they may be within our haplotree (different subclade of BY3374) but may prove to be in a different haplotree. I've got some matches at lower level GD that have proven to be in a different branch than my own.
posted by Robert Moore II
Hi Robert: A few updates to your list of family lines at the top of the page:

(1) James Moore b. abt 1785 VA, d. 1846 Il. We now have two descendants who have their BigY results. The terminal haplogroup for both C. J. Moore (345909) and Peter Moore (574822) is FTB59048. CJ Moore and Peter Moore are first cousins, Their common ancestor (grandfather) was born in 1889.

(2) Next to James Moore you can add Robert Moore b1794 KY d.1849 IL. He is of the same family and we believe that the James and Robert were brothers. I have tested three descendants of Robert Moore, two to the Big Y. Allen Moore (951006) and Emery (942688) have terminal haplogroup FTA56344, parent SNP of FTB59048. Allen and Emery are fourth cousins to each other. They are fifth cousins to Peter and CJ. I hope to obtain permission to upgrade kit 542025 for Koen, great-grandson of Allen.

(3) Benjamin D. Moore d.1810 KY. I updated that kit to the Big Y on February 3, 2022. Webb-Moore should receive his results in a few more weeks.

Thanks, Betty!

Could you build Allen, Emory, and Koen into the WikiTree pages? I'd like to add the lines under the haplogroup pages. Also, if you could complete the descendant lines from CBT Moore to both CJ and Peter.



posted by Robert Moore II
edited by Robert Moore II
You are speedy. Thanks for so rapidly including the line down to Charles Jeffers Moore and Peter Moore. I am still working on the two lines from Robert Moore down to Allen/Koen and Emory.

Question: Is it possible for me to add to WikiTree the information about the Big Y tests for CJ, Peter, Allen, Emory, and Koen?

Thank you, Robert, for doing this, as it is all so very helpful! I have contacted the manager of the kit for the descendant of John Andrew Moore that you have listed above, and asked him for permission to upgrade this kit from 37 markers to the Big Y. The manager is the first cousin of the tester and he says the tester agrees, so I will arrange for the upgrade. Next week is the eight-week mark for the upgrade for the descendant of Benjamin D. Moore d. 1810 KY, so we should soon see those results.
Hi Betty,

That's great! Looking forward to seeing how all these upgrades impact your haplotree.



posted by Robert Moore II
I just recently took the big Y DNA testing. Waiting for the results
posted by Jonathan Moore
Allen's results were received June 11. His top three matches are Alexander. I am just starting to try to figure this out, but it is certainly fascinating.

There are also matches with the names Harsha/Harshaw, Blackwood, Walker, Montgomery, Epperson, Young, and several Moores. I have just seen that among the Moore matches we have Robert H. Moore and Daxton Moore!

Where can I find the number of private variants? There are 13 non-matching variants with Allen's top match.

Thank you, Robert. You are a gem.

Very happy to help, Betty!

Since results were just received in the last few days, I'll be curious to see if the haplogroup changes within the week. Results are usually loaded, and then recalculated, based on matching private variants with others (if there are matches).

The number of private variants can be found by accessing by going to the Big Y "Results" (underneath "Block Tree"). Once there, open "Private Variants". There will probably be about 4-6 (im guessing).

posted by Robert Moore II

On average 3 Private Variants in 3 Big Y participants

That sounds like you are looking at the Block Tree (which gives average numbers of variants). You can see the exact number by accessing the "Results" link. Essentially, the average is of all those who have tested to that haplogroup.
posted by Robert Moore II
You are right, and I would have been a long time finding this without your help. They list five private variants.
Perfect. To give you perspective, there is about 4 generations (+/-1) between variants. So, about 100 - 150 years. So, the haplogroup you're currently seeing was from around the 1400s or 1500s. As you test others in your line, at the Big Y level, this will bring you forward in time, with the change in haplogroups. For me, for example... I carry the same haplogroup as my gg grandfather, born ca 1862. It is my terminal haplogroup as I have zero private variants, now. My brother, however, has 1 private variant, which indicates a new haplogroup which we'd only discover if he had a son and tested him.
posted by Robert Moore II
Hi Robert: Thank you so much for doing this. This is just amazing and so helpful. I appreciate what you have done very very much.

I manage YDNA accounts for some of my male Moore cousins, all of whom are in group 2 on the Worldwide Moores group at FTDNA. My cousin Allen Moore (kit 951006) has just received his results for the Big Y test. His haplogroup is now R-FT229475. My cousin Charles J. Moore (kit 345909) has been placed in haplogroup R-DF5. My cousin Peter Moore (kit 574822) tested to 111 markers. I hope to upgrade him to the Big Y in a few months. They descend from brothers Robert and James Moore who both died in Illinois in the 1840s.

This is all new to me. I have a question. How does one determine the ascendancy and descendancy of R-FT229475 and R-DF5 on the haplotree?

Thank you. Betty Saunders Marty

Hi Betty,

That's some pretty amazing news regarding the new FT229475 result, as, up to this point, it's only been for Alexanders. How recently did you receive the results? I'm also curious... how many private variants are you seeing with the Big Y-700 results?



posted by Robert Moore II
You asked, "How does one determine the ascendancy and descendancy of R-FT229475 and R-DF5 on the haplotree? "

The Big Y-700 test is the only way to determine specific haplogroup descendancy. Further, in that one of your kits has now been tested at that level, you'll notice there are still private variants, which equate to "unlocked haplogroups". By testing other males in that line, many of those private variants will be "unlocked", and you'll see changes in the haplogroups.

posted by Robert Moore II
Giving FT229475 an estimate emergence in the 15th century would be about in line with what my line is seeing with FGC15791.

My "recent" haplogroup lineage is BY132823 < Y133362 < FT176771 < FGC15791

Broken down by emergence years, that equates to (give or take) 1862 < 1712 < 1570 < 1420

posted by Robert Moore II
You might also find this useful as you begin testing the two others at the Big Y level...

posted by Robert Moore II
This is so useful, and very interesting. I see that it will be helpful to upgrade our other Y tests to the Big Y. I will do one as soon as I can.

Robert and James Moore, who moved to Illinois from Kentucky around 1805, are as far back as we have a document trail. We do have a paper from the grandson of James saying James was born in Virginia and his own father was named William, who went to Kentucky with Daniel Boone. (However he called James "Simon" on the paper. There were other errors, and I am skeptical of that information.)

Perhaps more Big Y tests will help us evenmore than I thought!