The Clan/Sept History
The origin of the name Craig can be traced back to the Scottish word craig which means steep or rocky cliff; it was often used as a descriptive prefix for place names throughout Scotland. The name itself existed in various forms such as Craigh, Creag and Creagh, which are occasionally used as variations of the name today. The clan expanded substantially during the fifteenth century with three different, prominent branches of Craigs emerging. The most powerful were the Craigs of Riccarton. One of the ancestors of the Riccarton branch is William Craig of Craigfintray who is the earliest member of Clan Craig to be recorded; it is thought that he was born some time during the latter half of the 15th century. He had two sons, William (1501-90) was the elder son and aided in the drawing up of the National Covenant in 1580, he also achieved the influential status as minister of Holyrood. The younger son was amongst the many Scots who fell at the Battle of Flodden in 1513. Many Craigs across the world have traced their family origin to this branch of the family after heavy migration spread the Clan Craig throughout the world. The Irish Craigs include James Craig of County Down whose father had found his fortunes in the whiskey trade. James Craig was one of the men responsible for organising the Ulster Volunteers Force who struggled against the Home Rule movement in Ireland in the 1920s. James Craig established himself in the future of Ireland when he became the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland in 1921. James Craig was awarded with a peerage and adopted the title Viscount Criagavon. The town of Craigavon in County Armaugh was named after him; he died in 1940. The last Clan chief was Thomas Craig of Riccarton who died in 1823 and left no heirs hence they are not represented on the Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs. There are various clan societies throughout the world.
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