This book by David Dobson identifies roughly 1,200 Moray inhabitants, giving the name, occupation, a date and the source, and sometimes the names of family members, vessels, and other details.
Moray lies between the Moray Firth and the Grampian mountains, and is composed of a fertile coastal plain with river valleys, such as the Spey. The district of Moray now includes the former adjacent counties of Banff and Nairn. The major families or clans in the district included Gordons, Grants, Innes, Dunbar, Rose, Leslie, Fordyce, Brodie, Geddes, and Ogilvie.
In 1130 the Mormaer [Earl] of Moray and his followers rebelled against the rule of King David I of Scotland based in Edinburgh. King David suppressed the revolt with the assistance of Flemish knights who had settled in Scotland. These knights, men such as Freskin and Berewald, were granted the lands of the rebels. The knights mostly adopted the names of the lands as their surnames, thus founding several notable Scottish families such as Murray, Innes, and Duffus, while some used Fleming as their surname. A branch of the Dunbar family from southeast Scotland also settled there.
By the early modern period, the main settlements and burghs in Moray were Forres, Nairn, Auldearn, Findhorn, Spynie, and especially Elgin. Moray’s economy was based on agriculture, fishing, and trade. Vessels traded from the ports of Moray to Scandinavia, the Baltic, the Netherlands, England, and on occasion to the Americas. These trading links facilitated emigration. The Moray inhabitants identified here may be the antecedents of persons living in those countries today.