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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016


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The surname Craighead was 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.

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.


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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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  • Harold G. Craighead, American professor of applied and engineering physics at Cornell University
  • Thomas B. Craighead (1798-1862), American politician and lawyer
  • 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
  • David Craighead (b. 1924), American organist from Strasburg, Pennsylvania, Eastman School Professor Emeritus of Organ (1955-1992)
  • Alison Craighead (b. 1971), London-based visual artist, who work with video, sound and the internet, co-founder of Thomson & Craighead
  • John Craighead (b. 1971), retired Canadian professional ice hockey right winger


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  1. Urquhart, Blair Edition. Tartans The New Compact Study Guide and Identifier. Secauccus, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0-7858-0050-6).
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  3. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  4. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  7. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 18 November 2015 at 13:28.

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