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Origins Available: Irish, Scottish


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."

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The surname Creagh was 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."

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.


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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 and printed products wherever possible.

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Prominent amongst the family at this time was Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Pierce Creagh; General James Creagh (1701- c. 1790); and Richard Creagh (died 1585), born in Limerick, he...

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Creagh Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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
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  • 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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Citations



    Other References

    1. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
    2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
    3. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    4. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
    5. Land Owners in Ireland. Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1203-3).
    6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
    7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
    8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
    9. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    10. 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).
    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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