McRae History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

McRae was a name for a prosperous person. The Gaelic form of the surname McRae is Mac Rath, which literally means son of grace or son of prosperity.

Early Origins of the McRae family

The surname McRae 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 McRae family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McRae 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 McRae History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McRae Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, there was no basic set of rules and scribes wrote according to sound. The correct spelling of Scottish names were further compromised after many haphazard translations from Gaelic to English and back. Spelling variations of the name McRae include MacCrae, MacCraith, MacCrath, MacCraw, MacCray, MacCrea, MacCree, MacCreight, MacCrie, MacReagh, MacRae, MacRay, MacRie and many more.

Early Notables of the McRae 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 McRae Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McRae family to Ireland

Some of the McRae 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 McRae migration to the United States +

Scots left their country by the thousands to travel to Australia and North America. Desperate for freedom and an opportunity to fend for themselves, many paid huge fees and suffered under terrible conditions on long voyages. Still, for those who made the trip, freedom and opportunity awaited. In North America, many fought their old English oppressors in the American War of Independence. In recent years, Scottish heritage has been an increasingly important topic, as Clan societies and other organizations have renewed people's interest in their history. An examination of passenger and immigration lists shows many early settlers bearing the name of McRae:

McRae Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Christopher McRae, who landed in Virginia in 1766 [1]
  • Duncan McRae, who landed in America in 1775 [1]
  • Margaret McRae, aged 19, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1775 [1]
McRae Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Colin McRae, aged 36, who arrived in Connecticut in 1812 [1]
  • Peter McRae, aged 51, who arrived in North Carolina in 1812 [1]
  • Malcom McRae, aged 56, who arrived in North Carolina in 1813 [1]
  • Farqhuar McRae, who landed in New York in 1825 [1]
  • P J McRae, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McRae migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McRae Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Isaac McRae U.E. who settled in Didgeguash, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1784 [2]
McRae Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ann McRae, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Betsy McRae, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Duncan McRae, aged 5, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Farquhar McRae, aged 1, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • Margaret Mary McRae, aged 4, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1801
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia McRae migration to Australia +

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

McRae Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Finlay McRae, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tomatin" in 1840 [3]
  • Janet McRae, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tomatin" in 1840 [3]
  • Christina McRae, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tomatin" in 1840 [3]
  • Barbara McRae, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tomatin" in 1840 [3]
  • Donald McRae, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Tomatin" in 1840 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand McRae 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:

McRae Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George McRae, aged 40, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Ellen McRae, aged 38, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Catherine McRae, aged 19, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Isabella McRae, aged 17, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • William McRae, aged 15, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name McRae (post 1700) +

  • William Chann McRae (b. 1971), American professional road bicycle racer
  • Brian Wesley McRae (b. 1967), American former center fielder in Major League Baseball who played from 1990 to 1999
  • Timothy "Tim" McRae (b. 1970), American Olympic weightlifter, two-time bronze medalist at the Pan American Games (1995, 1999)
  • Mike McRae (b. 1955), American Olympic long jumper at the 1984 Summer Olympics
  • Dandridge McRae (1829-1899), American lawyer and soldier, Inspector General of Arkansas State Troops, as well as a brigadier general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War
  • Carmen McRae (1920-1994), American jazz singer, composer, pianist, and actress
  • Bruce McRae (1867-1927), American stage and early silent film actor
  • Tom McRae (b. 1969), born Jeremy Thomas McRae Blackall, an English singer-songwriter
  • Donald McRae, South African writer, William Hill Sports Book of the Year winner in 1996 and 2002
  • Don McRae, Canadian politician, Member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Canada
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. William R McRae (b. 1923), English Boy Telegraphist serving for the Royal Navy from Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [4]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. William Alexander McRae (d. 1912), aged 31, Irish Fireman/Stoker from Belfast, Ireland who worked aboared the RMS Titanic, died in the sinking and was recovered by CS Mackay-Bennett [5]


The McRae 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.


Suggested Readings for the name McRae +

  • 1744 The Alexander William McRae (1847-1912) Family Descendants by Vada McRae Gipson.

  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. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) TOMATIN 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840Tomatin.htm
  4. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  5. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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