This is an ancient Scottish surname. It originates from the town of Motherwell in the county of Lanarkshire, and as a surname is one of the very earliest recorded in that country. Locational surnames were usually 'from' names. That is to say names given to people after they left their original home, to move somewhere else. The exception to this rule was when a family owned a particular estate or manor as may well have been the situation with this name. Certainly the first known recording was that of John de Motherwell in 1244. He was a witness to a peace agreement between King Alexander 11nd of Scotland and England's King Henry 111rd. This would certainly suggest that this John de Motherwell was a person of considerable standing, and probably the lord of the manor of Motherwell. The spelling then underwent change as the national accent changed, and by 1296 the spelling was as Moderwell or even Modervale, and later Modirwall! Even as late as 1681 we have the recording of Johannes Modderwell of Rutherglen, a spelling which it was claimed, was still retained by the grandfather of the poet William Motherwell (1785 - 1835).

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • MOTHERWELL (R.) — MOTHERWELL ROBERT (1915 1991) Peintre américain «expressionniste abstrait» de la première vague new yorkaise. Robert Motherwell est considéré comme l’un des artistes les plus lucides et les plus cultivés de sa génération. Il est de formation… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Motherwell — (spr. Moßheruell), William, geb. 1797 in Glasgow, war Untersecretär des Sheriffs in Paisley u. st. 1835 in Glasgow als Redacteur des Glasgow Courier; er schr.: Poems narrative and lyrical, 1832 (deutsch v. Heintze, Lpz. 1841); Minstrelsy ancient… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Motherwell [1] — Motherwell, Fabrikstadt in Lanarkshire (Schottland), 4 km nordöstlich von Hamilton, hat ein hübsches Rathaus (von 1887), bedeutende Eisen und Stahlwerke, Kohlengruben und (1901) 30,423 Einw …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Motherwell [2] — Motherwell (spr. mŏther ŭell), William, schott. Dichter, geb. 13. Okt. 1797 in Glasgow, war Untersekretär des Sheriffs in Paisley und starb 1. Nov. 1835 in Glasgow. Schon 1819 gab er eine Sammlung von Liedern: »The harp of Renfrewshire«, heraus.… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Motherwell — Motherwell, Stadt in der schott. Grafsch. Lanark, (1901) 30.423 E.; Eisen und Stahlwerke, Kohlengruben …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Motherwell — (Mösheruell), geb. 1792 zu Glasgow. gest. 1835. Publicist und einer der besten schott. Lyriker (»Erzählende u. lyr. Gedichte« Glasgow 1832) …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Motherwell — Motherwell, Robert …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Motherwell — (Robert) (1915 1991) peintre abstrait américain …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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