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Murtishaw – Mottershaw – Murdishaw – Murtiashaw – Mattershaw – Mottleshow – Martishand to name a few

Murdishaw was the name given to a wood at the boundaries of the townships of Aston, Norton, Preston, Stockham and Sutton in Runcorn parish.  J. Mc Neil Dodgson in ‘The Place-Names of Cheshire, Part II’ (Cambridge University Press 1970) gives the probable meaning as ‘spokesman’s wood’ and describes it as ‘a position suitable for local assemblies’.  He gives as variants ‘Murder Shaw’, mentioned in Cholmondely Mss. in 1746, ‘Mottershaw Wood’ marked on Bryant’s map of Cheshire in 1831, and Mattershaw Wood, mentioned in the tithe award in 1843, and suggests that the first element may have been confused with ‘murder’ after some unrecorded killing.  – Copied from a letter dated 6 December 1978 from Cheshire Record Office County Archivist Eileen Simpson to T. R. Murtishaw in response to an enquiry on 27 November regarding the name.

J. Dodgson in “Place Names of England ; Cheshire” Volume 2, page 181 derives the name from ‘motere sceaga’ – ‘spokesman’s wood’.  The wood…may have been a meeting place for local assemblies in the Saxon period when the wood was given its name. A surname Modershale occurs in 1333, and Modreshale in 1339, they may be derived from the place name. – Copied from a letter dated 12 January 1979 from the District Education Officer of the Cheshire County Council County Education Department to Mrs. T. Murtishaw.

Early records in Cheshire County include marriage & christening records for Mottershaw 1638, 1646, 1682, 1673, 1715, 1764, 1778, 1787; Motershaw/Matershaw 1794; Mottershey/Mattershey 1643; Mathershaw 1792; Mattershaw 1808

A Geffrey Mattershey arrived inTalbut Co. Maryland Nov 11 1667.  He had a son George whose last record was in Centerville Maryland in 1747.  He apparently left no male issue.

Evidence found to date indicates that every Murtishaw in the United States descends from George Murtishaw who was in South Carolina by at least 1780.  George served in Hall’s Delaware Regiment under a variety of names including Mottleshow, Metishaw, Mottoshaw, Mertishaw, Merseshan, and Martishand, leading us to believe Murtishaw was not the original spelling of the name.

Thanks to Thomas Raymond Murtishaw, the preeminent Murtishaw researcher, for all of this data and much more.



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