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

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

In ancient Scotland, the first people to use McGrain as a surname were the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name someone who lived in county of Angus.

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The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. McGrain has been spelled Rayney, Rainy, Rainey, Rainnie, Rennie, Renny and many more.

First found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGrain research. Another 174 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGrain History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the McGrain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 124 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

McGrain Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas McGrain, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1813

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  • Danny McGrain, Scottish soccer player


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  1. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Donaldson, Gordon and Robert S. Morpeth. Who's Who In Scotish History. Wales: Welsh Academic Press, 1996. Print. (ISBN 186057-0054).
  4. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  10. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  11. ...

The McGrain Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGrain 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 27 October 2010 at 13:55.

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