The surname of CRAIG is a local name, meaning 'at the craig' from residence thereby. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land and indicated where he actually lived. As the name appears in early Scots records in many parts of the country it must have originated from more than one locality. The surname is very numerous in Counties Antrim, Derry and Tyrone. In the 15th century there were three families 'of that Ilk'. Johannes del Crag witnessed a charter by William the Lion. John of the Craig 'with his band of 300' played a decisive part in the battle of Culblean on 30th November 1335. Alex Craig married Elizabeth Johnson in St. George's Chapel Mayfair London 1748. Over the centuries, most people in Europe have accepted their surname as a fact of life, as irrevocable as an act of God, however much the individual may have liked or disliked the surname, they were stuck with it, and people rarely changed them by personal choice. A more common form of variation was in fact involuntary, when an official change was made, in other words, a clerical error. Among the humbler classes of European society, and especially among illiterate people, individuals were willing to accept the mistakes of officials, clerks and priests as officially bestowing a new version of their surname, just as they had meekly accepted the surname they had been born with. In North America, the linguistic problems confronting immigration officials at Ellis Island in the 19th century were legendary as a prolific source of Anglicization. A notable member of the name was John Craig (1512-1600) the Scottish reformer. He lost his father at Flodden in 1514. He was educated at St. Andrews, he joined the Dominicans there but fell under the suspician of heresy, and after a brief imprisonment in 1536, he went to Rome. He gained admission to the Dominican convent at Bologna. Sir Thomas Craig of Riccarton born in 1538, was the Scottish writer of feudal law. In 1573 he was appointed justice-depute of Scotland and in 1573 of Edinburgh. The arms for Craig were registered in Riccarton, Scotland 1818. The associated arms are to be found in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory 1884. Ulster King of Arms 1884
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