Greig History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first family to use the name Greig lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The name Greig comes from a diminutive form of the personal name Gregory. The Gaelic form of the name was Griogair, which was borrowed from the Latin name Gregorius. This in turn came from the Greek name Gregorios, a derivative of the word gregorein, which means to be awake or to be watchful.

Early Origins of the Greig family

The surname Greig was first found in Fife and "along the east central coast. In old parish records the name is spelled Greag (1689), Greg, Grege (1536), Gregg, Grieg, Grig (1508) Walter Greg witnessed a charter by Malcolm, earl of Fife, c. 1214-1226 (RHM., II, p. 1). Patrick Grige was admitted burgess of Aberdeen, 1488 (NSCM., I, p. 33), and John Grige held land there, 1493 (REA., I, p. 334). Johannes Greg was chosen common councillor in Aberdeen, 1502." [1]

Early History of the Greig family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Greig research. Another 291 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1214, 1488, 1522, 1567, 1739, 1803, 1502 and are included under the topic Early Greig History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Greig Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Greig has been spelled Gregg, Greig and others.

Early Notables of the Greig family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Greig Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Greig family to Ireland

Some of the Greig family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Greig migration to the United States +

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Greig:

Greig Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Greig, who arrived in New York in 1800 [2]
  • David Greig, aged 33, who arrived in New York in 1801 [2]
  • Elizabeth Greig, who landed in New York in 1822 [2]
  • George Greig, who arrived in New York in 1822 [2]
  • J N Greig, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Greig migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Greig Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Felix Greig, aged 30, a baker, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the schooner "Sarah" from Belfast, Ireland

Australia Greig migration to Australia +

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

Greig Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Greig, Scottish convict from Stirling, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on September 3rd, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • James Wright Greig a carpenter, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [4]
  • Margaret Greig, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [4]
  • William Greig, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [4]
  • Isabella Greig, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Greig 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:

Greig Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Alexander Greig, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • Henry Greig, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1841 aboard the ship Mandarin
  • Mr. Thomas Greig, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Sevilla" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd December 1859 [5]
  • Miss Helen Greig, Scottish settler from Dollar travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 27th April 1860 [5]
  • Mr. William Greig, (b. 1835), aged 25, Scottish farm labourer from Aberdeen travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "William Miles" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st August 1860 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Greig (post 1700) +

  • Samuel Greig (1736-1788), Scottish-born Russian Admiral, son of Charles Greig, shipowner of Inverkeithing in Fifeshire [6]
  • John Greig MBE (b. 1942), Scottish footballer, voted "The Greatest Ever Ranger" in 1999
  • Andrew Greig (b. 1951), Scottish poet
  • John Greig (1759-1819), English mathematician who died at Somers Town, London, 19 Jan. 1819, aged 60 [6]
  • Alexis Samuilovich Greig (1775-1845), Russian admiral in the Russian service, son of Sir Samuel Greig, was born at Cronstadt on 18 Sept. 1775 [6]
  • Robert Greig (1887-1955), Australian politician
  • Ian Alexander Greig (1955-1982), South African former professional cricketer, who played in two tests for England in 1982, younger brother of Tony Greig
  • Anthony William "Tony" Greig (1946-2012), South African-born, England Test cricket captain turned commentator
  • Tamsin Greig (b. 1967), Olivier Award-winning British actress
  • Keith Greig (b. 1951), Australian rules football player
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1820 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1820
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1837. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837Navarino.htm
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020


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