Last name: Rae

This interesting surname recorded in several forms including McRae, MacRae, Rae, Ree, and Rea, is of Medieval Scottish origin, although there can be confusion with English nameholder of similar spellings. The derivation is from the pre 7th century Old English 'ra'. This word described the roe deer, and when used as a nickname was on the face of it, a description for a rather timid person. However the developed sense of humour of the medieval period was to say the least robust, and 'nicknames' often meant the reverse of what they appeared to describe. This is certainly the case with the Scottish Border clan 'Rae' (originally Raa) from the Dumfries region. They were one of the fiercest and most disruptive of the famous 'Reivers'. They were described in a 15th century warrant of the Scottish court as being as 'troublesome and contumacious as any of the borderers'. Their refusal to cooperate in the lawful business of the region being legendary! There are many recordings of namebearers, these dating from as early as 1231, when Robert Raa, described as a mason, witnessed a charter to the Abbey of Culross, Peter Rae 1671 - 1748 was a minister of Kirkconnel, Scotland, and published an account of the 1715 Jacobite uprising. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Vlui Ra, which was dated 1095, in the Records of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 1 of England, known as 'The Lion of Justice', 1087 - 1100.

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Andrew Teh

Hi guys, my great grandmother (on my mother's side) was a Rae. Her father was George Rae. They migrated to Malaysia YEAAARRRSS ago. I'm interested to meet more Raes & know more about my ancestry. Please contact me on facebook : Hex Marlboro or email me at


My gg grandfather was John 'Jock' RAE, came to Australia in 1853. He was born in Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland. Believe his father was Robert RAE and his mother Christine ARMSTRONG. Jock had a brother James. Love to hear from anyone with connections !!

Kathleen Rae Cella

My maiden name is Rae. My great grandfather John Forbes Rae was born in Scotland. His Naturalization papers from western Pennsylvania say he was born in Dundee. His father, Alexander Rae, was born in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. His naturalization papers simply say Scotland. His father, my great, great, great grandfather John Rae was born in Kincardine O'Neil, Aberdeenshire and married Isabella Forbes.. That is all the records I have. I believe John's father is father was James Rae born about 1775. If this sounds familiar to anyone, I would love to hear from you.

sandra rae
I'm a Rae too. My Scottish great grandfather was born in Ecclefechan. Anyone else from that area?

Sari Rae

I'm a Rae and my dad is David Rae and his dad and his dad and so on, My dad is from Scotland from shots and I was born in Australia so I guess we are related some how

francis james rae
Trying to find information onn a francis james Rae. Mylate father. Lived in Hackney. London uk thank you pat

William Rea
I would like to chime in a little bit. I am a REA. I have my family tree to go many generations its around my 4th generation grandfather that it gets confusing of the name REA and RAE. I am looking for any connection of William H. Rea (Rae) married to a Mary Ann Ostic (Ostie). They left europe to Canada...I just can't figure out England, Scotland or Ireland. My Grandfather always said we were Scottish but I can't find the links.

I am desperate to find my Rae roots. I have a Mary Rae who would have been born early part of 1820-1830 she appears to be Scottish. Anyone with info: This information has been very interesting and helpful. So hard to find this stuff.

David Rae
My 3rd Great Grandfather was David Anderson Rea who immigrated from Dundee to Australia. Changing his name to Rae. I would love to hear from anyone from Dundee or Kirremuir who could tell me about Rea history in these area's David Rae

Roland Rae
My father was a "junior" and called "Mac" by his parents.

Jerri Ray
I must have received a form of all the above. Who knows anything about Wray or Ray? Strictly English or what?

Iain Rae
As I understand the origins of the name Rae, some 400 years before Christ, people from Dai Raita (part of northern Ireland) sailed to south western Scotland and settled, of these celtic people were the Rae forebears. The early family name was Raa and meant roe or female deer and changed over time to Rae. The patryomic Mc means son of, thus the clan McRae are descended from the Raes. These celtic people spread north and west throughout Sotland displacing the Picts and intermarrying until their culture disappeared. The McRaes settled around Kintail, on the mainland opposite the Isle of Skye and were closely allied to the McKenzies. During the middle ages and Elizabethan times the Rae's from around Dunfrieshire formed one of the most aggressive groups of Border Reivers, so we all come from good stock.

David Rae
Hi Lain, Awesome information mate...good ear gear! My Rae's go back 158 years in Australia, Prior my 3rd greatgrandfather's surname was spelt Rea. Even though Rae & Rea lines that have developed over hundreds of years do the spelling variations reallt come under the umbrella of MacRae? Would love to know the answer. Ancestry research can be so hard i can only go back as far as 1759 form Kirriemuir and dundee.

Daniel John Rae
G'day, Rae is definitely Scottish. My Gradfather was 'Jock' Rae and the Mac/Mc was dropped as a result of emigration to England for work. Where names representing anything other than Anglan decent was frowned upon and preference wasn't given to those with Irish/Scottish origins because of bigotry and racism. There are many Rae's in my family and they all derive on my fathers side. My grandfather came from a large family of Rae's and his origin was from Glasgow where he was born and bred. e-mail to see if we are related! Regards, Danny

Charlotte Elizabeth Rae
Good for you Scott. :0)  Naw I didn't miss the word "pejorative". Regardless I do not personally consider this fact negates/belittles it's validity when used in reference to other non food/drink items. I'm Scottish & I personally do not consider (if someone were to refer to me as "Scotch") it to be negative or disparaging. I generally try not to be too pedantic with regards to my writing style or word choice but being as you do (evidently) may I point out the fact that your spelling of "Whiskey" is the Hiberno-English (also known as Irish English) & is the dialect of English written and spoken in Ireland (Hibernia), in opposed to the Scottish standard English spelling "Whisky"... the irony.

Charlotte E Rae
Scotch (adjective), a largely obsolescent adjective meaning having to do with Scotland and usually now considered pejorative unless related to food or drink. The terms Scottish, Scot, Scots, and Scotch are all variants of the same word. They have had different histories, however, and in modern English they have developed different uses and connotations.

Scott Rae
I think you missed the word "perjorative" in your definition. I stand by my statement.

Charlotte E Rae
Oh hell naw! Gypsies?! EEP! ^_^ I'm not sure whether it is Irish or Scotch, I think it's generally Celtic perhaps? I know I don't have any Irish heritage. I used to work for Sky whilst at Uni & we had a lot of Irish customers with the surname Rea. I would automatically assume the pronunciation to be ree-haa but would be promptly corrected by the customers. I have also encountered Wray and of course Ray as variants.

Scott Rae
Scotch is the whiskey, Scots are the people.

Before I Got Married My Name Was Rae, A Few Year's Ago I Done A Family Tree And I Found That The Rae 'Family' Come From Scottish OR Irish Gypsy's/Traveller's! Xx

D Rae
My grand father and generations came from the north east of Scotland. Moto- Always be prepared! We have a tartan, so Rae is a very scotish name!

D Wilkie
My great grandfather and grandfather, both william Rae also raised in the north east of Scotland between Aberdeen and Dundee. My grandfather had two sons, David Rae and William Rae. Four daughters. My mother was Ethel Rae. We may be related.

Maria Rae
My surname is Rae but I was told that it was originally MacRae and that my great great grandfather decided to drop the "Mac". Can this be correct or was it always just Rae.

Justin Rae Tai
wow increadible so interesting...

John Rae.
I can't find any evidence of Clan RAE being a fierce border reiver clan or family.

Charlotte E Rae
There is no clan Rae, we are part of the MacRae Clan.

bumble bee
its irish

John Rae.
I have Irish friends whos name is REA so this must be the Irish version of the surname RAE.

Margaret Rae
im looking for my great Great Grandfather he was Robert Rae Born I think in Northern Ireland 1791..... he moved to Scotland Married Agnes McMaster...and had a son George Rae