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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Craighead family come from? What is the Scottish Craighead family crest and coat of arms? When did the Craighead family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Craighead family history?

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It is only in the last few hundred years that rules have developed and the process of spelling according to sound has been abandoned. Scottish names from before that time tend to appear under many different spelling variations. Craighead has been spelled Craighead, Craighede, Craigdaillie, Craigdallie and others.

First found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Craighead research. Another 161 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1700, and 1731 are included under the topic Early Craighead History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Craighead Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Unwelcome in their beloved homeland, many Scots sailed for the colonies of North America. There, they found land and freedom, and even the opportunity to make a new nation in the American War of Independence. These Scottish settlers played essential roles in the founding of the United States, and the shaping of contemporary North America. Among them:

Craighead Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Craighead, who landed in New England in 1715

Craighead Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Richard D. Craighead, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1895
  • Wm Craighead, aged 7, who emigrated to America, in 1895

Craighead Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Robt. Craighead, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States, in 1905
  • S. Craighead, aged 33, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Alex Craighead, aged 22, who landed in America from Dundee, in 1906
  • Alexander Craighead, aged 39, who settled in America from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1908
  • Bella Craighead, aged 29, who landed in America from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1908


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  • David Craighead (b. 1924), American organist from Strasburg, Pennsylvania, Eastman School Professor Emeritus of Organ (1955-1992)
  • Alexander Craighead (1705-1766), Irish-born, American preacher, member of a group of Ulster Scots pioneers who settled near the present site of Charlotte, Pennsylvania
  • Thomas B. Craighead (1798-1862), American politician and lawyer
  • Harold G. Craighead, American professor of applied and engineering physics at Cornell University
  • John Craighead (b. 1971), retired Canadian professional ice hockey right winger
  • Alison Craighead (b. 1971), London-based visual artist, who work with video, sound and the internet, co-founder of Thomson & Craighead


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Securum presidium
Motto Translation: A secure fortress.

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  1. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  2. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  9. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Craighead Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Craighead Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 28 March 2014 at 10:08.

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