------------ STONEHAVEN GENEALOGY ------------
------ WEEKLY UPDATE OCTOBER 31, 2004 ------
After reading the article on the Clan Chisholm that I posted
in the October 17th WEEKLY UPDATE, Stonehaven Genealogy Member,
Marva, in the United States contacted me asking if I could
highlight the Craig Clan in a future Update. After a little
research, I've managed to come up with the following details
regarding Clan Craig and I would like to share it with you now.
If you have a particular Clan......or anything else for that
matter......that you would like to learn more about, please
let me know and I will be sure to highlight it in an upcoming
In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the following history of
the Clan Craig.
Motto: "Vive Deo et Vives" (Latin - Live in God and You Shall
Live); "J'ai Bonne Esperance" (French - I have Good Hope)
The Craig Coat of Arms needs three ingredients to constitute
it; metal, colors and fur: silver (or the color white) signifies
serenity & nobility; the fur, ermine, depicts dignity & nobility;
and the dark band across the middle represents repentance or
vengeance. The most ancient version has been found in the
The Craig crest, which includes a chevalier on horseback grasping a
broken lance in bend Proper, is representative of a group of 'broken
men' from other clans who had sought, and were granted, the
protection of the clan. There are two Clan mottoes, the most common
being in French - "J'ai Bonne Esperance" - 'I have Good Hope', the
other in Latin "Vive Deo et Vives" - 'Live in God and You Shall Live'.
The Craig tartan, of which there are also two, developed from two
different sources. One was the result of the Earl of Mar allowing the
Craigs to add the color red to his own black and white tartan. The
other traditional one, reported to have been designed circa 1957 by
Dgn. MacGregor-Hastie, was formulated from the colors of rocks, (Crag)
from which the name Craig originated, hence the colors gray, green,
black, yellow, and orange on the tartan.
The surname Craig is one of great antiquity. It originated in the area
of the Picts, the eastern portion of Scotland, where they (Picts) were
allowed to settle on condition that all their Kings agree to marry an
Irish Princess. The Picts are considered to be among the most ancient
of the founding races of Scotland. Bede, a respected historian (born
673), estimated that they came to Scotland some fifteen centuries BC,
from France. From some early documents researched such as the Inquisito,
1120 AD., the Black Book of the Exchequer, and others, records of the
name Craig were produced in Aberdeenshire where they were seated from
very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the
arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066.
The surname Craig was found in many different forms and spellings,
From time to time it was spelt Craig, Craigh, Creag, Creagh, and some
of these are still used today. The name Craig emerged as a Clan and
developed in their original territories of Aberdeen where they were
recorded as a family of great antiquity, seated at Craigfintray
Castle in Kildrumie in that Shire. This Northern Clan is frequently
associated with the Gordons, but their first records appear in
Ayershire and Lanarkshire to the south about 1180. There were two
other branches, one of which is listed separately; the other was
closely associated with the Huntly clan. Several of the Clan rendered
homage to King Edward I of England on his brief conquest of Scotland
in 1296. By 1300 they had moved to Aberdeen and Forfar, John Craig
brought out his whole Clan (est. 1,000 warriors) at the battle of
Culblean in 1335. They were granted Estircrag in 1440, where this
important branch developed in Berwick. Several of the Clan were
elected to Scottish Parliament. The Clan seat is at Riccarton, the
last known Craig Chief was Thomas Craig of Riccarton who died March
13, 1823. He left no known male heirs.
Among the oldest Chiefs of Clan Craig researched is William Craig of
Craigfintray, Co. Aberdeen who would have been born sometime in the
latter half of the fifteenth century. Next in succession came Alexander
Craig of Craigfintray; next came William Craig of Craigfintray,
afterwards Craigston, Co. Aberdeen; next was Sir Thomas Craig, b.1538,
d.1608; married Helen Heriot. Sir Thomas was a great institutional
writer on Scottish feudal law, his work Jus Feudale is still referred
to by lawyers today.
Thomas' son, Sir James Craig of Craig Castle and Craigston of Co.
Aberdeen, became one of the Scottish undertakers of the Ulster
Plantation (N. Ireland) in 1610. It has been determined that if a
person's Craig forefathers came to America from N. Ireland, there is
a good chance that he was a descendant of this James. This would be
especially true if he or she emigrated before the Revolutionary War
and a few years thereafter. His descendant, James Craig, became the
first Prime Minister of Ireland in 1921, having been an organizer of
the Ulster Volunteer Force in the struggle against Home Rule. He was
then elevated to the Peerage, taking the title 'Viscount Craigavon'.
The new town of Craigavon in County Armagh was named after him.
LETTER TO THE MODERATOR
On October 15th, I received the following email from Stonehaven
Genealogy Member, Eileen Lothian. In it she writes a short, but very
interesting History of one part of her Family. I enjoyed reading it
so much, that I thought I would share it with you today.
I would like to thank you for all the time and effort you put into
looking after Stonehaven Genealogy and producing and sending the
Weekly Updates, which are always full of interest. It is a great
pleasure when one arrives. Underneath is a short piece in case it
is of any use to add to an Update, but please feel free to discard
it if you wish - I shall not be upset!
"My maternal grandmother, with whom I lived as a child, was a Mrs.
Jack, but her maiden name was Cecilia Nicoll Bruce Middleton. Her
first names came from her aunt, Cecilia Nicoll Middleton, who
married Alexander Bruce. Although grandmother had been born in
Edinburgh in 1876, I discovered that her great-grandfather came
John Middleton married Helen Crow on 29 November 1801 and the
marriage was registered in both Glenbervie and Montrose, although
I have not managed to trace either of them any farther back.
John Middleton was a gardener and worked for some years on the
Monboddo estate. Although the mansion house is now abandoned and
derelict the estate was owned by the Burnett family in the early
nineteenth century, Mrs. Burnett of Monboddo being one of the
baptismal witnesses when John & Helen's son Arthur was christened
in 1813. I would guess that Arthur was probably the name of Mr.
Burnett, as children were sometimes given the name of the father's
employer. Built by the Irvines in the early seventeenth century,
Monboddo lies about one mile east of Auchenblae. James Burnett,
Lord Monboddo, was a famous judge, born there in 1714. He was
well-known for anticipating Darwin's theory, believing that men
were monkeys whose tails had been worn off by constant sitting!
John and Helen Middleton had eight children, their fourth, Alexander
born in 1806 at Arbuthnott, being my ancestor. Alexander moved to
Brechin, Angus, where he was a Millwright in a Flaxmill and married
Isabella Thomson. Of his siblings whom I have managed to trace, all
moved away from Kincardineshire.
The eldest, William, married three times having two daughters, Helen
and Mary, from his first marriage, and a son, John, from the second.
Next came John, a Master Cabinetmaker, who married Isabella Smith
and lived in Aberdeen. The seventh child, Charles, also a gardener,
spent time in Middlesex, England, but latterly resided in Glasgow.
I have so far been unable to trace what happened to James, Helen,
Arthur and Isabella, some of whom possibly died in childhood."
After reading Eileen's email, it made me realize that this might be
a good idea for a regular feature in my WEEKLY UPDATES. Not only
would it be a great way for the membership to tell a more detailed
history of a particular part of their family, but it would also make
for interesting and informative reading for our fellow Stonehaven
So, if you would like to see your Family History posted on a future
WEEKLY UPDATE, please feel free to type it out and email it directly
to me at my email address listed below. Please feel free to write as
short a piece as you wish, or if you have a lot to tell, a long piece
would be just fine as well, as I can always break it into sections
and post it on consecutive weeks.
OCTOBER POLL RESULTS
The October POLL is now closed and I would like to "THANK" all of
those who took part. We set a brand new record for participants in
a POLL, by surpassing our previous best of 152 which was set last
year. We had a total of 178 Members take part this time around and
below are the final breakdowns for everyone to see.
POLL QUESTION: Please choose where you are currently living (not
where you were born).
49 - United States
34 - Canada
27 - Scotland (other than resident of STONEHAVEN)
23 - Australia
17 - England
15 - New Zealand
04 - Wales
03 - Scotland (resident of STONEHAVEN)
02 - Africa
02 - Ireland
01 - Europe (other than the U.K. or Ireland)
01 - South America
00 - Asia
00 - North America (other than Canada or USA)
00 - Oceania (other than Australia or New Zealand)
00 - NONE OF THE ABOVE
I think the results of this POLL are quite interesting. As you can
see, Members families, who for one reason or another decided to
move from outside of the U.K., have done so to every corner of the
world. With just over 27% going to the United States, 19% to Canada,
13% to Australia & just under 9% to New Zealand, I think this gives
us a fairly accurate picture as to how families from Scotland have
distributed themselves throughout the world over the past century
or so. I must mention this time around also, that of those POLLED
in our Group, almost 30% decided not to travel very far at all and
can still call somewhere within the UK their home.
Although this POLL was purely done for fun, it does come in quite
close to whatever I've been able to read on the subject. "THANKS"
again to everyone who took the time to take part and don't forget
to look out for the next POLL coming your way soon.
Jim Allan, Moderator
Victoria, B.C. CANADA
STONEHAVEN WAR MEMORIAL
ANESFHS Member 10387