Moody (surname)

Moody (surname)

Moody is an English surname. It ranks in the top 200 most common surnames in English speaking nations. It is most commonly acknowledged as being of English origin. The earliest known example dates from the 12th century in a Devonshire early English charter-where the name Alwine 'Modig' is mentioned. Recent census research suggests that the surname has been most consistently populous in Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire and also in areas of north east England.[1] There is also a high incidence of the similar-sounding surname 'Moodie' in Scotland, in particular Orkney, although this variant, ending "ie", has possible Norse/Celtic origins. The surname Moody was also carried to areas of Ireland settled by the early English. Although the most intensive areas of occurrence match areas of dense Anglo-Saxon habitation post 1066, it is difficult to determine if the name is Anglo-Saxon or Nordic/Viking in origin, since all Germanic countries used the word 'Modig' or 'Mutig' to indicate someone who was bold, impetuous or brave. Surnames were increasingly given through the early Middle Ages to assist taxation and an increasing incidence of the name can be followed in such documents as the Hundred Rolls, early English charters and general medieval assizes associated with such actions as baronial struggles, Crusades or Angevin campaigns in France.

There was a significant incidence of the name among early American immigrants from England in the 17th century.

Some notable bearers of the Moody surname include:


Politics and government

  • Arthur Moody (1891–1976), British politician
  • Blair Moody (1902–1954), American politician
  • Charles Moody (1792–1867), British politician
  • Dan Moody (1893–1966), American politician
  • Gideon C. Moody (1832–1904), American politician
  • Bill Moody, American judge
  • James M. Moody (1858–1901), American politician
  • James Maxwell Moody (born 1940), American judge
  • James Moody (loyalist) (c. 1744-1809), Canadian politician
  • James S. Moody, Jr. (born 1947), American judge
  • James Tyne Moody (born 1938), American judge
  • Jim Moody (born 1935), American politician
  • John M. Moody (died 1884), American politician
  • Malcolm A. Moody (1854–1925), American politician
  • Richard Moody (1813–1887), first Lieutenant-Governor of the Colony of British Columbia
  • Tom Moody (politician) (1930–2008), American politician
  • William Henry Moody (1853–1917), American politician and jurist
  • Zenas Ferry Moody (1832–1917), American politician





  • John Moody (financial analyst) (1868–1958), American financial analyst
  • Sewell Moody (1834–1875), Canadian businessman
  • Shearn Moody, Jr. (1933–1996), American financier
  • William Lewis Moody, Jr. (1865–1954), American financier



  • Mad-Eye Moody, a character in the Harry Potter books
  • Hank Moody, a character from the television series Californication


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