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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: Irish, Scottish

Where did the Irish Creagh family come from? What is the Irish Creagh family crest and coat of arms? When did the Creagh family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Creagh family history?

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."


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.

First found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) 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."


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Creagh research. Another 383 words (27 lines of text) covering the years 1848, 1923, 1705, 1585, 1541, 1701, 1790, 1585, 1676 and 1693 are included under the topic Early Creagh History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 95 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Creagh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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
  • Dr. Creagh, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • James Creagh, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1853
  • Carmelo Creagh who settled in Philadelphia in 1878 along with Richard and Thomas
  • Eduardo Creagh, who arrived in Puerto Rico in 1885

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 emigrated 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

Creagh Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • R. Creagh arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Black Eagle" in 1861
  • John Creagh arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inflexible" in 1870
  • James Creagh, aged 22, a farm labourer, arrived in Westland aboard the ship "Gainsborough" in 1878


  • General Sir Garrett O'Moore Creagh VC GCB GCSI (1848-1923), known as Sir O'Moore Creagh, Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Major-General Sir Michael O'Moore Creagh KBE MC (1892-1970), British commander
  • Mary Helen Creagh (b. 1967), British Labour Party politician
  • Ben Creagh (b. 1985), Australian professional rugby league footballer


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  1. 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).
  2. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. 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).
  8. MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992. Print.
  10. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  11. ...

The Creagh Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Creagh 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 17 October 2014 at 11:42.

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