Friday, May 18, 2012

What Is The Correct Spelling Of The Cragun Family Name?

View from Craigen Darroch, Ballater
View from Craigendarroch, Ballater
This is a view from Craigen, Darroch, Ballater by blackeastson on Flickr.

Craigen is one of the spellings that could have led to the common spelling now of Cragun.

Here are 5 different spellings of our name and some explanations of their origination. It's interesting.

1. Creggan. A town land in what once had been the Barony of Upper Fews, County Armagh, Ulster, Northern Ireland. It is here that proprietors settled Scottish and English prote stants on their estates to work the land. Through this area flows a small stream called Creeg an River. Creegan is also the name of a road in Derry, Londonderry County, Ulster.

2. Creagan. The name of a town land north of Oban, in Lorn, Argyll, Scotland. Here the name i s descriptive of the land: high and rocky.

3. Croghan. The name of a mountain (6,000 ft. high) west of the city of Arklow in County Wick low, Eire. The name is likely derived from the Gaelic word which is anglicized as croaghaun m eaning: a little pile of stones.

4. Cregan. A surname found throughout Ireland. One notable of that name is Martin Cregan of C ounty Meath, 1788-1870. He was portrait painter to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Francis Jo hnson, and was at one time president of the Royal Hibernian Academy.

5. Craigen. In 1272 the Church of Cragyn (now Cragie) in Kyle, Scotland was confirmed to the monks of Paisley by Thomas de Cragyn, who assumed his name from his land.

I wonder if one of these spellings is more romantic, authentic, or significant than Cragun, just wondering. With scenery like this I'm beginning to be fond of Craigen.

More about Craigendarroch from Royal Deeside Website, click here:
Ballater, scenic capital of Deeside, nestles, Alpine style, at the foot of Craigendarroch Hill in what must be one of the most beautiful settings in Scotland. Few can fail to be impressed by the magnificence of the scenery surrounding this quiet, unspoiled village.

Craigendarroch is a remnant of the ancient plateau surface which was deeply dissected by the glaciers of the last ice age. The name is derived from two Gaelic words - "Craig" for crag or hill and "darroch" meaning oak. The name is entirely appropriate for the hill is a time capsule harbouring one of the last stands of oak on Deeside. Before the influence of man and his need for agriculture, the oak was the dominant climax vegetation in this part of Deeside. Now only a few stands remain and Craigendarroch is one the finest examples. However, it is thought even these oaks were planted by man although, of course, the hill must at one time have supported a natural oak wood. The first recorded use of the name "Hill of the Oaks" was in the early 18th century, but oak trees are known to have been present on Craigendarroch for well over three hundred years.

The pattern of the present wood suggests that it has been planted and managed as a coppice. The cuttings were extensively used in the local leather tanning industry, but prior to that full grown trees were felled to provide timber which was used to build ships. Some were also used for pews in a church in Aberdeen.

The commercial exploitation of the wood ceased towards the end of the 19th century - most of the present trees are approximately 120 years old. Now the wood remains as the jewel in the botanical crown of the flora of Deeside. It is a reminder of things past, a place to be enjoyed from within and from afar, a haven for a myriad of flora and fauna, but above all, a safe and delightful walking place for all who come to Ballater.

These features have been recognised nationally, leading to the designation of Craigendarroch as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and all of Royal Deeside as a National Scenic Area.

To those doing research there are several new research postings on Patrick Cragun on

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