This is a Scottish locational surname. Variously recorded as Craighead, Craigheid, and even Craghede, it originates from either Craighead, a village and manor near Bothwell in Lanarkshire, or from Craighead with Barrhead, in the former county of Renfrew, or as another possibility Craighelder, an area and mountain near the town of Newton Stewart, in Kircudbrightshire. In all cases the basic meaning is the "top of the hill" from the Celtic and Olde English pre 7th century words "crag-heafod". Locational surnames are usually by their very nature "from" names. That is to say names given to people after they had left their original homes, often in search of work, and who had moved elsewhere. It was and it remains so today, that one of the easiest ways to identify a stranger, was to call him or sometimes her, by the name of the place from whence they came. Spelling over the centuries being at best erratic, and local dialects very thick, often lead to the development of "sounds like" spellings. In this case early recordings include those of David Craighead, who was a witness at Arbroath in 1546, whilst William Craigheid, was a "baxter" in Aberdeen in 1613.
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