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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Craighead family come from? 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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In the era before dictionaries, there were no rules governing the spelling or translation of names or any other words. Consequently, there are an enormous number of spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names. Craighead has appeared as 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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The freedom, opportunity, and land of the North American colonies beckoned. There, Scots found a place where they were generally free from persecution and where they could go on to become important players in the birth of new nations. Some fought in the American War of Independence, while others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these Scottish settlers have been able to recover their lost national heritage in the last century through highland games and Clan societies in North America. Among them:

Craighead Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Craighead, who landed in New England in 1715

Craighead Settlers in 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 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


Craighead Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • William Craighead landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship Lord William Bothwick
  • William Craighead, aged 29, a farm labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" in 1841
  • Susan Miller Craighead, aged 28, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Lord William Bentinck" in 1841
  • George Craighead arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cossipore" in 1857
  • William Craighead arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Cossipore" in 1857

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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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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. 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.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Scots Kith and Kin And Illustrated Map Revised 2nd Edition. Edinburgh: Clan House/Albyn. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  6. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  7. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  9. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 9 July 2014 at 16:04.

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