Show ContentsCrerar History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

An ancient Scottish people known as the Picts were the forefathers of the Crerar family. Crerar is a name for a sifter from the Gaeilc word criathar or one who is a sievewright.

Early Origins of the Crerar family

The surname Crerar was first found in Inverness, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Crerar family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crerar research. Another 136 words (10 lines of text) covering the year 1496 is included under the topic Early Crerar History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crerar Spelling Variations

Prior to the invention of the printing press in the last hundred years, documents were basically unique. Names were written according to sound, and often appeared differently each time they were recorded. Spelling variations of the name Crerar include Crerar, Crerer, Crearer, Crarer, Crear, Crearr and others.

Early Notables of the Crerar family

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was

  • Crerar of Inverness

United States Crerar migration to the United States +

The freedom of the North American colonies was enticing, and many Scots left to make the great crossing. It was a long and hard journey, but its reward was a place where there was more land than people and tolerance was far easier to come by. Many of these people came together to fight for a new nation in the American War of Independence, while others remained loyal to the old order as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of Scots in North America have recovered much of this heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and other such organizations. A search of immigration and passenger lists revealed many important and early immigrants to North America bearing the name of Crerar:

Crerar Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Crerar, who settled in New York in 1775
Crerar Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Crerar, who arrived in America in 1827 1
  • Agnes Crerar, who arrived in New York, NY in 1834 1

Canada Crerar migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Crerar Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Alex Crerar, who was on record in county Lanark, Ontario, in 1817
  • Donald Crerar, who settled in Quebec in 1817
  • Peter Crerar, his wife and two children, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1817
  • Alex Crerar, who landed in Canada in 1817
  • Peter Crerar, who landed in Canada in 1817

Australia Crerar migration to Australia +

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

Crerar Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Crerar, Scottish convict who was convicted in Perth, Scotland for 14 years, transported aboard the "Baring" in December 1818, arriving in New South Wales, Australia 2
  • Janet Crerar, Scottish convict from Perth, who was transported aboard the "Amphitrite" on August 21, 1833, settling in New South Wales, Australia 3

Contemporary Notables of the name Crerar (post 1700) +

  • John Crerar (1827-1889), American capitalist and philanthropist, best known for an endowment creating the John Crerar Library in Chicago
  • Henry Duncan Graham "Harry" Crerar (1888-1965), Canadian General and the country's "leading field commander" in World War II
  • Hon. Thomas Alexander Crerar (1876-1975), Canadian politician, the leader of the Conservative party of Canada in 1921, Canadian Senator (1935-45)
  • James Crerar Reaney OC FRSC (1926-2008), Canadian poet, playwright, librettist, and professor, three-time Governor General's Award recipient

The Crerar 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: Touch not the cat bot a glove
Motto Translation: Touch not the cat without a glove

  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. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from
  3. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Amphitrite voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1833 with 99 passengers. Retrieved from on Facebook