The surname of GREEAR was derived from the Gaelic Mac Grioghar, a variant of the Scottish Mac Gregor. The name has been numerous in Ulster since the time of the plantation of Ulster. When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.
A Scottish family by the name Grierson claim descent from Gilbert, son of Malcolm MacGregor (died 1374), 11th Lord of MacGregor. Gilbert was known as both MacGregor and Gregorson. In 1400 he was granted lands by the Earl of March in the name Grieson. The numerous Northern Irish bearers of the name Gree claim descent from this same Gilbert. Alba, the country which became Scotland, was once shared by four races; the Picts who controlled most of the land north of the Central Belt; the Britons, who had their capital at Dumbarton and held sway over the south west, including modern Cumbria; the Angles, who were Germanic in origin and annexed much of the Eastern Borders in the seventh century, and the Scots. The latter came to Alba from the north of Ireland late in the 5th century to establish a colony in present day Argyll, which they named Dalriada, after their homeland. The Latin name SCOTTI simply means a Gaelic speaker. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. Registered at Scotland in 1672. (The Grange Mac Gregor and Tullylagan, County Tyrone and Sea Park, County Antrim. The arms were confirmed to the Irish family of Greer, claiming descent from the Clan Mac Gregor in Scotland.)
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