McCraw History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Scottish name McCraw is carried by the descendents of the Pictish people. It was a name for a prosperous person. The Gaelic form of the surname McCraw is Mac Rath, which literally means son of grace or son of prosperity.

Early Origins of the McCraw family

The surname McCraw 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 McCraw family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McCraw research. Another 548 words (39 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 McCraw History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McCraw 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. McCraw has appeared MacCrae, MacCraith, MacCrath, MacCraw, MacCray, MacCrea, MacCree, MacCreight, MacCrie, MacReagh, MacRae, MacRay, MacRie and many more.

Early Notables of the McCraw 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 gratitude he offered to raise a regiment to be known as the Seaforth Highlanders (the 78th Regiment). Composed largely of MacKenzies and MacRaes (always loyal supporters of the MacKenzies whose Chief commanded the Regiment), it was embodied at Elgin in May 1778...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McCraw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McCraw family to Ireland

Some of the McCraw 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 McCraw migration to the United States +

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 McCraw name:

McCraw Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Donald McCraw, who arrived in Virginia in 1776 [1]
  • William McCraw, who landed in Virginia in 1776 [1]

Canada McCraw migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McCraw Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. John McCraw U.E. who settled in Saint Johns, New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]

Australia McCraw migration to Australia +

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

McCraw Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Edward McCraw, aged 28, a joiner, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Joseph Rowan" [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name McCraw (post 1700) +

  • Thomas Kincaid McCraw (1940-2012), American business historian, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for History
  • William C. McCraw (1896-1955), American politician and lawyer, Attorney General of Texas (1935-1939)
  • Tommy Lee McCraw (b. 1940), American Major League first baseman and outfielder who played from 1963 through 1975
  • John D. McCraw, New Zealand Dean of Science, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand, member on a 1959-1960 field party to the McMurdo Dry Valleys, eponym of the McGraw Glacier, Antarctica


The McCraw 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: Fortitudine
Motto Translation: With fortitude.


  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  3. ^ South Australian Register Saturday 17th June 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Joseph Rowan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/josephrowan1854.shtml


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