The ancient Scottish name MacCray is carried by the descendents of the Pictish people. It was a name for a prosperous person. The Gaelic form of the surname MacCray is Mac Rath,
which literally means son of grace
or son of prosperity.
Early Origins of the MacCray family
The surname MacCray was first found in Inverness-shire
(Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Nis) divided between the present day Scottish Council Areas of Highland and Western Isles, and consisting of a large northern mainland area and various island areas off the west coast, the shire was anciently both a Pictish and Norwegian stronghold, but their ancient history is often clouded with conjecture. It appears certain that they lived before the 14th century at Clunes, to the west of Inverness in the territories of the Fraser Clan
. Consequently the family has always been friendly towards that Clan. From about 1400, they moved to the location with which they are readily associated, Kintail.
Early History of the MacCray family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacCray research.Another 1095 words (78 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1539, 1539, 1688, 1745, 1425, 1505, 1477, 1505, 1715, 1764 and 1778 are included under the topic Early MacCray History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacCray Spelling Variations
Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations
were a common result of this process. MacCray has appeared MacCrae, MacCraith, MacCrath, MacCraw, MacCray, MacCrea, MacCree, MacCreight, MacCrie, MacReagh, MacRae, MacRay, MacRie and many more.
Early Notables of the MacCray family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan
at this time was Finghin MacCarthy Reagh (c.1425-1505), the 8th Prince of Carbery from 1477 to 1505, belonged to the MacCarthy Reagh dynasty; the Earl of Seaforth who forfeited his lands in 1715, but in 1764 was allowed to buy the lands back from the Government. In... Another 134 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacCray Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacCray family to Ireland
Some of the MacCray family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacCray family to the New World and Oceana
Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence
. The Clan
societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the MacCray name: Hugh MacCrae settled in New York in 1774; James, Daniel, Henry, John, Patrick, Robert, William MacCrea all arrived in Philadelphia between 1800 and 1870.
The MacCray 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 Translation: With fortitude.