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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. Craighead Law, Craighead Lea or Law hill is said to be a Moot hill, a justice or court hill controlled in feudal times by the local Baron. Stones on its summit appear to be deliberately positioned and a grass covered cairn is clearly visible. The hill is located in what is now known as Lugton, East Ayrshire. Interestingly, Craghead is a former mining village in County Durham.


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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. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  5. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  8. Black, George F. The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3).
  9. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  10. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. 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 9 July 2014 at 16:04.

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