Craige History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Craige family name was first used by descendants of the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. It is a name for someone who lived in Aberdeen (part of the modern Grampian region), and other shires across Scotland. The Craige surname is derived Scottish Gaelic word creag, meaning "a rock" which became the Scottish word "craig." Craig is parish in Forfarshire which was "formerly called Inchbrayock, the 'island of trout,' by which name an island of thirty-four Scotch acres within the parish is still known. Craig was at that time only the designation of one of the chief estates, and it is supposed that, when the place of worship was transferred from the island to the property of Craig on the continental part of the district, the name of Craig, which is naturally derived from the rocky nature of the shore, was extended to the whole of the parish." [1]

Early Origins of the Craige family

The surname Craige was first found in Aberdeenshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain), a historic county, and present day Council Area of Aberdeen, located in the Grampian region of northeastern Scotland. This northern Clan was frequently associated with the Gordons, but their first records appeared in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire to the south about 1180. One of the first records of the name was Johannes del Crag who was witness to a charter by William the Lion. Later, Robertus de Crag witnessed a charter by Alexander II. [2]

Early History of the Craige family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Craige research. Another 130 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1296, 1300, 1335, 1440, 1512, 1600, 1512, 1538, 1608, 1620, 1569, 1622, 1663, 1731, 1567, 1627, 1567, 1586 and are included under the topic Early Craige History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Craige Spelling Variations

Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Craige has been spelled Craig, Craigh, Creag, Creagh and others.

Early Notables of the Craige family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was John Craig (1512?-1600), Scottish divine, born about 1512, and next year lost his father, one of the Aberdeenshire family of Craigs of Craigston, at Flodden. [3] Sir Thomas Craig (c. 1538-1608), was a Scottish feudalist, jurist and poet. He was the eldest son of William Craig of Craigfintray in Aberdeenshire. Sir Thomas' third son, John Craig M.D. (died 1620), was a Scottish physician and astronomer, physician to James VI of Scotland. Sir Lewis Craig, Lord Wrightslands (1569-1622), was an early Scottish judge, eldest...
Another 89 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Craige Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Craige family to Ireland

Some of the Craige family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Craige migration to the United States +

The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Craige:

Craige Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Craige, who landed in New England in 1736 [4]

New Zealand Craige migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Craige Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Craige, (b. 1850), aged 24, Cornish settler departing on 16th November 1874 aboard the ship "Rakaia" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 7th February 1875 [5]
  • Miss Lovica Craige, (b. 1873), aged 1 year 8 months, Cornish settler departing on 16th November 1874 aboard the ship "Rakaia" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 7th February 1875 [5]
  • Mr. Samuel F. Craige, (b. 1850), aged 24, Cornish wheelwright departing on 16th November 1874 aboard the ship "Rakaia" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 7th February 1875 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Craige (post 1700) +

  • John E. Craige, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1956
  • Francis Burton Craige (1811-1875), American Democrat politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons, 1832-34; U.S. Representative from North Carolina 7th District, 1853-61; Delegate to North Carolina secession convention, 1861; Delegate from North Carolina to the Confederate Provisional Congress, 1861-62


The Craige Motto +

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: Vive ut vivas
Motto Translation: Live that you may live for ever


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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