Creagh History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname is one of the many Irish surnames rooted in Gaelic language native to Ireland. The original Gaelic form of the name Creagh is Craobhach, derived from the word "craobh," which means "branch."

Early Origins of the Creagh family

The surname Creagh was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where this ancient Irish family was descended from King Niall of "the Nine Hostages," the great General King, who in turn was descended from the Heremon line of Irish Kings.

The Creaghs were one of the celebrated septs and leading gentry of the County Clare. They were a branch of the O'Neills of County Clare and tradition has it that they carried green branches with them into battle against the Norsemen at Limerick.

Their name is derived from the Irish surname Craobhach, which is the adjective formed from the noun "craob," a branch. Other names are derived from this source as well such as Cray, the anglicized form of O Craoibhe meaning "descendant of Craobhach."

Early History of the Creagh family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Creagh research. Another 192 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1848, 1923, 1705, 1585, 1541, 1525, 1585, 1525, 1567, 1585, 1676, 1693, 1500, 1505, 1514, 1518, 1520, 1523, 1689, 1707, 1676, 1692, 1693 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Creagh History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Creagh Spelling Variations

Those scribes in Ireland during the Middle Ages recorded names as they sounded. Consequently, in this era many people were recorded under different spellings each time their name was written down. Research on the Creagh family name revealed numerous spelling variations, including Creagh, Crear, Creag, Creavagh, Cray and others.

Early Notables of the Creagh family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Richard Creagh (1525?-1585), born in Limerick, an Irish Catholic Archbishop of Armagh who died in the Tower of London. Called also Crvagh, Crewe, and in Irish O'Mulchreibe, he was born about 1525, being the son of Nicholas Creagh, a merchant of the city of Limerick. "On 8 May 1567 he was arrested in Connaught, and in August was tried for high treason in Dublin. Though acquitted, he was detained in prison, but he escaped soon afterwards. Before the end of the year he was recaptured, sent to London, and lodged in the Tower...
Another 169 words (12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Creagh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Creagh migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Creagh family in North America:

Creagh Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bartholomew Creagh, who arrived in New York in 1836 [1]
  • Dr. Creagh, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [1]
  • James Creagh, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853 [1]
  • Carmelo Creagh who settled in Philadelphia in 1878 along with Richard and Thomas
  • Eduardo Creagh, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1885 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Creagh Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Ellie Creagh, aged 20, who landed in America from Limerick, in 1901
  • Ellie Creagh, aged 31, who immigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1906
  • Daniel Creagh, aged 21, who landed in America from Charleville, Ireland, in 1907
  • Catherine Creagh, aged 19, who landed in America from Rathdowney, Ireland, in 1908
  • Diana Creagh, aged 18, who settled in America from Kilmallock, Ireland, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Creagh migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Creagh Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Cecily Creagh, aged 25 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Minerva" departing from the port of Galway, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [2]

New Zealand Creagh 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:

Creagh Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Creagh, British settler travelling from London via Cobh aboard the ship "Sir George Pollock" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th September 1859 [3]
  • Mr. Michael C Creagh, British settler travelling from London via Cobh aboard the ship "Sir George Pollock" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th September 1859 [3]
  • Mr. Randolph Creagh, British settler travelling from London via Cobh aboard the ship "Sir George Pollock" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th September 1859 [3]
  • Mrs. Gertrude Creagh, British settler travelling from London via Cobh aboard the ship "Sir George Pollock" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th September 1859 [3]
  • Mr. Arthur Creagh, British settler travelling from London via Cobh aboard the ship "Sir George Pollock" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th September 1859 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Creagh (post 1700) +

  • John Creagh (1870-1947), Irish Redemptorist priest
  • Andy Creagh (1953-2010), Irish hurler and Gaelic footballer
  • General Sir Garrett O'Moore Creagh VC GCB GCSI (1848-1923), known as Sir O'Moore Creagh, Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Gethin Creagh, New Zealand Academy Award nominated sound engineer, best known for his work on the film The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Frank William Creagh (1924-1998), New Zealand gold medalist boxer at the 1950 British Empire Games
  • Ben Creagh (b. 1985), former Australian professional rugby league footballer
  • John Patrick Brasier- Creagh (1930-2012), British poet and translator
  • Cornelius Vincent "Vince" Creagh (1876-1909), Australian auctioneer and politician, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Croydon (1907-1908)
  • Major-General Sir Michael O'Moore Creagh KBE MC (1892-1970), British commander who served in both the First and Second World Wars, Commander of the 7th Armoured Division, the Desert Rats, between 1939 and 1941
  • Mary Helen Creagh (b. 1967), British Labour Party politician, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development (2014-2015)
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 22)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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