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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish McGrain family come from? What is the Scottish McGrain family crest and coat of arms? When did the McGrain family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the McGrain family history?

In ancient Scotland, the first people to use McGrain as a surname were the Strathclyde- Britons. It was a name someone who lived in county of Angus.

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The origin of rules governing the spelling of names and even words is a very recent innovation. Before that, words and names were spelled according to sound, and, therefore, often appeared under several different spelling variations in a single document. McGrain has been spelled Rayney, Rainy, Rainey, Rainnie, Rennie, Renny and many more.

First found in Angus (Gaelic: Aonghas), part of the Tayside region of northeastern Scotland, and present day Council Area of Angus, formerly known as Forfar or Forfarshire, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McGrain research. Another 174 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early McGrain History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the McGrain family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 124 words(9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The persecution faced in their homeland left many Scots with little to do but sail for the colonies of North America. There they found land, freedom, opportunity, and nations in the making. They fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence, or traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In both cases, they made enormous contributions to the formation of those great nations. Among them:

McGrain Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Thomas McGrain, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1813

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  • Danny McGrain, Scottish soccer player


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  1. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  3. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and David Hicks. The Highland Clans The Dynastic Origins, Cheifs and Background of the Clans. New York: C.N. Potter, 1968. Print.
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. 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.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Dorward, David. Scottish Surnames. Glasgow: Harper Collins, 1995. Print.
  8. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  11. ...

The McGrain Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The McGrain 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 13:55.

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