Heavens to Murgatroyd!

By Taylor Fox, Reference Librarian

Texas has a long history of unique names. One of the most prominent examples is Ima Hogg, philanthropist and daughter of Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg born in 1882. However, despite the popularly-held belief, she did not actually have a sister named Ura Hogg.

Our staff here at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission regularly come across unique names in our searches of the Texas Vital Statistics Indexes.

Photo of an entry in the Vital Statistics Index with the name Murgatroyd highlighted with a red box.

Another one of our Reference Staff thought the name sounded familiar. It turns out, “Heavens to Murgatroyd” was an expression used by the character Snagglepuss on the Yogi Bear Show.

But where does the name Murgatroyd come from?

According to Phrase.org, “[i]t seems that Murgatroyd has a long history as a family name in the English aristocracy. In his genealogy The Murgatroyds of Murgatroyd, Bill Murgatroyd states that, in 1371, a constable was appointed for the district of Warley in Yorkshire. He adopted the name of Johanus de Morgateroyde – literally John of Moor Gate Royde or ‘the district leading to the moor’.”

Know of any other unique names in your family or Texas history? Share them with us below!