This interesting surname is of Scottish locational origin from any of the various places thus called, including Craig in North East Forfarshire, and Craig in South Ayrshire. The name derives from the Old Gaelic "creag" meaning rock, a word that has been borrowed in Middle English as "crag". In some instances, the name may be topographical, from residence by a steep or precipitous rock. Anneys del Crage of Edinburgh and Johan del Cragge of Lanarkshire rendered homage to John Balliol in 1296, and in 1323 reference was made to the land of James del Crag, son and heir of John del Crag, in Ayrshire. In "Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries", Edinburgh, "the dramatic intervention of John of the Craig with his band of three hundred, who played a decisive part in the battle of Culblean on November 30th 1335" is referred to. Notable namebearers include John Craig (died 1655), who was physician to James 1 and to Charles 1, and James Craig (died 1795); an architect, who published designs for the laying out of Edinburgh New Town in 1767. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johannes del Crag, which was dated circa 1165, a charter witness, recorded in "Early Records of Scotland", during the reign of King William, known as "The Lion" of Scotland, 1165 - 1214. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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