Craigh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In Scottish history, few names go farther back than Craigh, whose ancestors lived among the clans of the Pictish tribe. They lived in Aberdeen (part of the modern Grampian region), and other shires across Scotland. The Craigh 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 Craigh family

The surname Craigh 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 Craigh family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Craigh 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 Craigh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Craigh Spelling Variations

The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Craigh has been spelled Craig, Craigh, Creag, Creagh and others.

Early Notables of the Craigh 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 Craigh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Craigh family to Ireland

Some of the Craigh 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 Craigh migration to the United States +

This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Craigh:

Craigh Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Craigh, who settled in New England in 1652
Craigh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Agnes Craigh, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1803 [4]
  • F Craigh, aged 27, who arrived in America in 1822 [4]
  • F. Craigh, who arrived in New York in 1822 with his wife and four children

Australia Craigh migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Craigh Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Benjamin Craigh, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Thomas Lowry" in 1848 [5]


The Craigh 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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THOMAS LOWRY 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848ThomasLowry.htm


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