MacGristiane History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The root of the ancient Dalriadan-Scottish name MacGristiane is the Latin given name Christianus, which means "belonging to Christ." Christianus was also the name of the 12th century Irish saint and Bishop of Candida Casa, and brother of St. Malachy of Armagh. Thus, the surname Christian became an extremely popular name, particularly in regions of Celtic or Irish influence such as Scotland, northern England, and the Isle of Man. It was also a common given name amongst the Danes and was the name of several Danish kings.
The name is "very common in some parts of Scotland. Sir Walter Scott tells a story of an unsuccessful gaberlunzie woman who in the bitterness of her disappointment exclaimed: "Are there no Christians here?" and was answered: "Christians! nae, we be a' Elliots and Armstrangs !" 
"Christianus was the name of a bishop of Candida Casa (Whithorn) who died at Holm Cultram in 1186." 
Early Origins of the MacGristiane family
The surname MacGristiane was first found in the north of England, "a familiar North-English font-name, though not wholly confined to the North." 
As one would expect the early rolls had mixed entries for the name as both a forename and surname. By example, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Jordan filius Cristine, Kent; Agnes filius Cristine, Cambridgeshire; Brice Cristian, Somerset; and Cristina Alayne, Buckinghamshire.
Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Cristiane Lyttester; and Cristiana atte Tounead. 
We would be remiss if we didn't mention the Christian family from the Isle of Man in more detail. On the infamous side, the mutineer Fletcher Christian was from this stock, but notably, the rear-admiral Sir Hugh CloBerry Christian (1747-1798), the Max writer Thomas Christian (d. 1799) and William Christian (1608-1663) the Receiver-General of the Isle of Man claimed the Isle of Man as their homeland.
Early History of the MacGristiane family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacGristiane research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1608, 1663, 1608, 1643 and are included under the topic Early MacGristiane History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacGristiane Spelling Variations
The translation of Gaelic names in the Middle Ages was not a task undertaken with great care. Records from that era show an enormous number of spelling variations, even in names referring to the same person. Over the years MacGristiane has appeared as Christian, Cristian, McChristian, McChristianston and others.
Early Notables of the MacGristiane family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan from early times was William Christian (1608-1663), receiver-general of the Isle of Man (famous in Manx history under the name of Illiam Dhône, 'Brown-haired William'), born on 14 April 1608. "He was the third son of Ewan Christian, one of the deemsters or judges of the Isle of Man and deputy-governor of Peel Castle. In 1643 his father made over to him the estate of Ronaldsway. The circumstances of this transaction throw some light on Christian's...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacGristiane Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacGristiane family to Ireland
Some of the MacGristiane family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 50 words (4 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 MacGristiane family
Many settled along the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. As the American War of Independence broke out, those who remained loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these hardy Dalriadan-Scottish settlers began to recover their collective history in the 20th century with the advent of the vibrant culture fostered by highland games and Clan societies in North America. Highland games, clan societies, and other organizations generated much renewed interest in Scottish heritage in the 20th century. The MacGristiane were among the earliest of the Scottish settlers as immigration passenger lists have shown: William Christian who settled in Virginia in 1652; Captain Christian settled in Boston in 1763; Francis Christian settled in Barbados in 1769 with his wife and son Matthew.
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- 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)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)