Recorded in several spellings including Craigie, Craighead, Craghead, Craighall, and probably Craighill, Craghill and Cragell, this is a confusing surname of Scottish, and perhaps sometimes, English origins. It is clearly locational and means in the Gaelic "rocky place", to which has been added various Olde English suffix such as head or hill, and confusingly hall. It is believed that the spelling as Craighall is generally regarded as originating from the lands of Craigie, now Craighall in West Lothian. It is also likely that nameholders in the spelling of Craighill, Craghill and Cragell, may have the same origin. However there is a place called Craighill in Perthshire, although there is no evidence that any nameholders originated from this village. As Craigie the name originates from the above place, or from another estate known as the lands of Craigie in Ayrshire, with John de Cragyn being recorded as rendering homage to the republican government of Scotland in 1296. As Craighead the name probably originates from Craighead in Lanarkshire, but the first recording is from Aberdeen in 1613 when William Craigheid is recorded as being a baker. Curiously the surname is recorded in the county of Kent in England as early as 1607 when a John Cragell or Craghill was a witness at Dartford on November 19th of that year. This recording suggests that he may have been of Scottish origin, possibly a merchant or sailor, although we have no other information.
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