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


The Greek family comes from the ancient Scottish Dalriadan clans of the mountainous west coast of Scotland. The name Greek is derived from the given name Gregor. The personal name Gregor, which is the Scottish form of Gregory, is derived from the Latin name "Gregorius" and from the Late Greek name "Gregorios," which mean alert, watchful, or vigilant.

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Spelling variations were extremely common in medieval names, since scribes from that era recorded names according to sound rather than a standard set of rules. Greek has appeared in various documents spelled Greer, Grier, Grear, Grerar, Greir, Greerr, Grearr and many more.

First found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greek research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1542 and 1598 are included under the topic Early Greek History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Greek Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Greek family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Dalriadan families proliferated in North America. Their descendants still populate many communities in the eastern parts of both the United States and Canada. Some settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists, in the wake of the American War of Independence. Families on both sides of the border have recovered much of their heritage in the 20th century through Clan societies and highland games. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Greek or a variant listed above:

Greek Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Andrew Greek, who arrived in Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1638

Greek Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • William Greek, who landed in New England in 1711

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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: Memor esto
Motto Translation: Be mindful.

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  1. Fulton, Alexander. Scotland and Her Tartans: The Romantic Heritage of the Scottish Clans and Families. Godalming: Bramley, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-86283-880-0).
  2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  4. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  5. Prebble, John. The Highland Clearances. London: Secker & Warburg, 1963. Print.
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. The Charters of David I The Written Acts of David I King of Scots, 1124-53 and of His Son Henry, Earl of Northumerland, 1139-52. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1999. Print.
  8. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  9. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  10. Scarlett, James D. Tartan The Highland Textile. London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1990. Print. (ISBN 0-85683-120-4).
  11. ...

The Greek Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Greek 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 27 October 2010 at 13:37.

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