Wraith History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Wraith family

The surname Wraith was first found in Nairnshire, where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity. They took their name from the Castle of Rait near Geddes which was in ruins by the 1400s. [1] Today Rait is a small village in Perth and Kinross. The Wraith variant is a Scottish Gaelic word for "ghost" or "spirit."

"The name is of considerable antiquity in Scotland. Among the documents preserved in the Exchequer Office is the Submission and Fealty of Sir Gervays de Rate, given at Elgin, July 27th, 1295. Their principal seat was at Hall Green, in the shire of Kincardine, where the older parts of the castle still show their armorial bearings. The first Rait, according to Nisbett, took refuge in the Mearns during the 14th century, having had to leave his native district of Nairnshire for some capital crime. It is certain that Raits were settled in the Mearns, and held the lands of Owres or Uras at that period; but it was not until the close of the following century that they had any connection with Hall Green. From that time, till the year 1724, they were possessed of it; and from them all the Raits of any note in Angus and the Mearns, whether landholders, ministers, farmers, or merchants, claim to be descended." [2]

Early History of the Wraith family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wraith research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1292, 1296, 1297, 1724, 1378, 1478, 1400, 1280, 1296, 1296, 1297, 1342, 1350, 1350, 1355 and 1990 are included under the topic Early Wraith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Wraith Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Rait, Raitt, Raid, Rate, Raith and others.

Early Notables of the Wraith family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan at this time was Sir Gervase Rait Constable of Invernairn of Castle Rait. His younger brother Sir Andrew de Rait of Rait (born c.1280) was also a noble of note. He was Constable of Nairn Castle in 1296. He appears on the 1296 Ragman Roll giving homage to King Edward I of England. He succeeded to his brother's estates and titles...
Another 65 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wraith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Wraith migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Wraith Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Wraith, aged 7, who landed in America from London, in 1895
  • Mrs. Wraith, aged 41, who settled in America from London, in 1895
  • Elizabeth Wraith, aged 59, who settled in America from Wombwell, in 1897
Wraith Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Herbert Wraith, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from Wakefield, in 1904
  • Harry Wraith, aged 66, who landed in America, in 1917
  • Richard Wraith, aged 31, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, England, in 1920
  • William Wraith, aged 48, who landed in America, in 1921

Contemporary Notables of the name Wraith (post 1700) +

  • Alexander Wraith (b. 1979), American actor, director, and screenwriter
  • Geoffrey "Geoff" Wraith (b. 1946), English professional rugby league footballer and coach, active 1963 through 1980
  • Thomas "Tom" Wraith (b. 1890), Australian rules footballer
  • Ronald Edwards Wraith, British scholar on public and colonial administration


The Wraith 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: Spero meliora
Motto Translation: I hope for better things.


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3


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