Craigie Families


The Craigie Name

Craigie is one of the most common names in Orkney.  The name is also common in the Perth and Fife areas of central Scotland and it is thought that the first Craigies to come to Orkney were brought north to work for one of the Earls that ruled Orkney seven or eight hundred years ago.


Craigies of Claybank

In the 1861 census there were 26 Craigie households in Rousay, half of them unrelated to any of the others as far as can be traced.  The largest group consisted of those descended from James Craigie of Claybank 1789-1864.  It is known that his father was called William.  There are many descendants in Orkney, including Neil Craigie, Alan Craigie, Kathy Stockan, Tom Gibson, Anita Thomson, and Ronald Stevenson.



Hugh Craigie of Deithe, 1866-1933, and his wife Margaret Inkster. Hugh was a grandson of James Craigie of Claybank, 1789-1864.

(Photo by courtesy of Neil Craigie)


Craigies of Hullion and Whome

There were two Craigie brothers Mitchell born c1768 and Drummond born c1773.  Mitchell had a general merchant's business at Hullion and Drummond was a farmer at Whome.  Three of Drummond's sons, Magnus, Charles, and John are thought to have emigrated to America.  Descendants of both Mitchell and Drummond are widely dispersed across Britain.  One of Drummond's sons, Alexander, became the tenant of Falquoy and the family remained there for several generations.  Orkney descendants include Paula Rendall, Freda Murray, Linda Donaldson, Dennis Bichan, Cathleen Craigie, and Maureen Crawford.



Magnus Craigie of Pliverha' (b.1856) and his wife Ellen Cooper.  Magnus was a grandson of Drummond Craigie of Whome.  Ellen hailed from Egilsay.

Photo by courtesy of Shelley Ames,  Calgary, Canada

 their gg-granddaughter)

James Craigie of Winnipeg, Canada (b.1886 in Rousay) and his wife Florence Mulligan, with their three oldest children (l to r) James Craigie b.1922, Margaret Craigie b.1924, Florence Craigie b.1919.   James Craigie and Florence Mulligan in later years.  James was a trolley bus driver in Winnipeg, and he appears to be wearing his driver's uniform.

James was a son of  Magnus Craigie and Ellen Cooper (above)

(Photos by courtesy of Shelley Ames, Calgary, Canada, their g-granddaughter)


James Craigie of Winnipeg, Canada (b. 1922) and his wife Eileen Richard.  James was a son of James Craigie (above). This photo was taken just before James left Canada to fight in WW2.

Photo by courtesy of Shelley Ames,  Calgary, Canada

 their granddaughter)




James Craigie of Falquoy (brother of Magnus Craigie, above) and his wife Janet Sinclair, and their children. Standing: l to r John, Annabella, Clare, Alice, and James. Seated left - Sarah. Right - Alexina

(Photo - T  Gibson)


John Craigie of Hullion born 1853 and his wife Mary Sinclair

(Photo - T Gibson)


Craigies of Brough

Members of successive generations of the Craigies of Brough held the position of lawrightman.  A lawrightman was appointed by either the sheriff or the laird but he also had to have the approval of the community in which he operated.  He had to be a person of good standing  as he sometimes had to settle minor disputes between neighbours over land boundaries or grazing rights.  It was also his duty to oversee such communal tasks as the upkeep of dykes separating the shared common land from the cultivated fields and to see that everyone took his fair share of the work involved.  Another one of his duties was to investigate minor wrong-doing and to track down the culprit.

The earliest traceable person in this family is Hugh Craigie born c1750 who married Janet Marwick.  Their son Hugh, born 1778, had a large family, the eldest of whom, also called Hugh, emigrated to New Zealand where there are now a great many descendants.  James, a grandson of Hugh (1778), married Mary Craigie from Mount Pleasant and emigrated to Canada.  See the Craigies of Graystane below.  

Orkney descendants include Steven Inkster, Neil Craigie, and Alison Mainland.




Richard Craigie 1828-1917, son of Hugh Craigie who emigrated to NZ in the 1840s. Seen here with his father-in-law Thomas Marwick





Finlay Bruce and his daughter in law, Kath Bruce, both of NZ, seen in 2009 in the ruins of the croft of Grain in Wasbister.  Finlay is a g-grandson of Richard Craigie (above) who emigrated to NZ in the 1840s.

(Photo - taken by Neil Bruce, husband of Kath and son of Finlay)

Stephen Craigie, his wife Delwyn and children Emily, Cameron, Georgina and Hilary, all of NZ, seen in 2015 at the Rousay Pier.  Stephen is a gg-grandson of Richard Craigie (above) who emigrated to NZ in the 1840s.

(Photo - taken by John Marwick)

Craigies of Laro

There was a family of Craigies headed by William Craigie, born c1775, who can be first traced to the farm of Nears. Two later generations lived on the small croft of Laro, the last of them being John Craigie and his family.  For many years John was captain of the Orcadia, a steamship, which served the North Isles of Orkney.



Capt. John Craigie, b. 1865, and his wife Elizabeth Reid. John was a son of William Craigie of Laro, Rousay 1821-1915.
 (Photo -T. Gibson)

Other Craigie Families

There were other Craigie families in Rousay apart from those mentioned above.  For example there were Craigies in Breck, Myres, Swandale, Shalter, Greystane, Mount Pleasant, Brough Westside, Braes, Hammer, Cruar and Turbital.


John Craigie of Grips, b. 1826 and his wife Mary Wood Marwick.
Not their son John and his wife Helen Craigie as previously stated.

(Photo - T. Gibson)

 Craigies of Myres and Shetland

The earliest traceable Craigie in Myres is John Craigie who was born probably in the 1790s.  He married Marian (Mary Ann) Louttit from the nearby farm of Faraclett and they had a son John b. 1826 who married Margaret Inkster and went to Shetland.  A photo of John and Margaret's son James Jaffray Craigie appears below.  The photo alongside James's is that of his daughter Isabella Godsman Craigie who came to Rousay as a teacher.  She married James Grieve of Fa'doon on 6.4.1934.



James Jaffray Craigie, son of John Craigie, b. 1826, and Margaret Inkster.


Isabella Godsman Craigie, daughter of James (left).

(Photos by courtesy of Alan Grieve)




Craigies of  Graystane and Mount Pleasant

Back in the 1870s  James Craigie from Greystane, who was descended from the Craigies of Brough above, married  Mary Craigie from Mount Pleasant and emigrated to Canada.  They settled at Goderich in Ontario and are seen with their six children in the photograph below.  In the summer of 2004 several Canadian and American descendants from that marriage travelled to Orkney to visit the places associated with their ancestors - see photo below.



Back row: James Henry Craigie, John William Craigie, Mary Craigie.
Middle row: Jane Jessie Craigie, James Craigie (father) , Mary Craigie (mother)
Front row: Frederich Thomas Craigie, Alexina Craigie



Great-grandchildren of  James Craigie and Mary Craigie (above) who emigrated to Canada from Rousay in 1870.  This group visited Rousay in 2004 and are seen here in the ruins of Greystane, the former home of their g-grandfather James Craigie

L to R:  Liz Harmer, Peter White, Diane Donn, Maryann Evans, James Craigie, Marilyn Nicholson, John Craigie, and Linda Harbison

Photo by courtesy of Max Fletcher