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


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It is only in the last few hundred years that rules have developed and the process of spelling according to sound has been abandoned. Scottish names from before that time tend to appear under many different spelling variations. Craighead has been spelled 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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Unwelcome in their beloved homeland, many Scots sailed for the colonies of North America. There, they found land and freedom, and even the opportunity to make a new nation in the American War of Independence. These Scottish settlers played essential roles in the founding of the United States, and the shaping of contemporary 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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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: Securum presidium
Motto Translation: A secure fortress.

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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Browne, James. The History of Scotland it's Highlands, Regiments and Clans 8 Volumes. Edinburgh: Francis A Niccolls & Co, 1909. Print.
  8. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Craighead Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Craighead 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 18 November 2015 at 13:28.

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