The surname of CREIGHTON was of territorial origin from the old barony of the name in Midlothian. The old spellings of the barony are very various but Kreiton seems to be how the name was pronounced. This Scottish name is prominent in Ulster, also sometimes used as a synonym of Creaghan and Crehan.Turston de Crectune, who witnessed King David's charter to Holyrood, circa 1128 appears to be the first of the name on record and Henricus Crictannus witnessed a charter by Roger, bishop elect of St. Andrews in 1189. William de Kreitton, rector of the church of Kreitton gave his lands to the Abbey of Newbattle in 1338. Robert of Crichtoun was one of the conservators of the truce between Scotland and England in 1451, and Alexander Crechtoune appears as a witness in Edinburgh in 1462. Margaret Chrightone was examined for the Test in Tinwald in 1685. (The Test was an act passed in the Scots parliament of 1681, which was practically a repudiation of the Covenant, and an acknowledgement that the king was supreme in all causes 'as well as ecclesiastical and civil'. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. Most of the European surnames were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory.
Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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