This is an interesting name of Irish and Scots origin. The Gaelic form is 'Mag Raighne', and means son of ('mag' or 'mac') Rayny, a pet form of Reginald. There seems to be some confusion as to which Irish sept this name belongs, but it is still fairly prevalent in Dublin and Ulster, particularly County Armagh and appears in Munster as O' Grainne or Greaney. It is also an old Galloway (Scotland) surname records show that in Dublin there was a schoolmaster of this name who wrote carols and ballads circa 1550. The name also appears in America and a family of this name, one Pat, his wife Ann, and infant daughter Biddy sailed from Liverpool aboard the Lady-Huntley on the 1st June 1846 bound for America. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johanne MacGrane, which was dated 1559, Fiants of County Louth, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, 1558 - 1603. 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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