Saturday, February 22, 2014

Surname Saturday ~ CRAIGHEAD, A family of Scots Irish Presbyterians


Reverend Robert Craighead received a Master’s degree from St. Andrews University on 15 February 1653.  He went to Northern Ireland for 30 years as the pastor of the Presbyterian church at Donoughmore.   He witnessed the siege of Londonderry, escaped and went to Glasgow, Scotland, but returned to die in Londonderry, Northern Ireland on 22 August 1711.

Robert Craighead married Agnes, the daughter of Reverend John Hart of Taughboyne, Northern Ireland.   Their daughter Katherine, my 9th great grandmother, married the Reverend William Homes and came to Massachusetts.  They also had three sons.  Robert Craighead, Jr. also became a Presbyterian minister and studied at Glasgow, Edinburgh and Leiden where he received a Master’s degree.  He was a longtime minister in Dublin.  Another son, Thomas, also studied in Edinburgh and became a Presbyterian minister.  He came with his sister to New England and became a minster at Freetown, Massachusetts.  In 1724 he became a pastor at White Clay Creek, Delaware, and later went to Pennsylvania.

The Craigheads were a very important family in the history of Presbyterianism in America.  Many descendants became ministers in the New World.

For more information on Robert Craighead:

 Craighead Family, A Genealogical Memoir by Rev. James Geddes Craighead, Philadelphia, 1876.  This book is available at the New England Historic Genealogical Society library in Boston on the shelves and also on microfiche.  It is available online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library, too. 

A good book about the siege of Londonderry is Seige City: The Story of Derry and Londondery, by Brian Lacey, Blackstaff Press, Belfast, 1990. 

My Craighead Genealogy:

Generation 1:  John Craighead

Genreration 2: Thomas Craighead born in Scotland; married in 1620 in Aberdeen, Scotland to Janet Ferguson

Generation 3: Reverend Robert Craighead, born about 1630 in Scotland, died 22 August 1711 in Derry, Northern Ireland; married Agnes Hart, daughter of Reverend John Hart and Agnes Baxter.  She was born 17 December 1648 in Dunino, Fife, Scotland.

Generation 4: Katherine Craighead, born about 1678 and died 10 April 1754 in Chilmark, Massachusetts; married on 25 September 1693 in Londonderry, Northern Ireland to Reverend William Homes, born 1663 in Donaghmore, Tyrone, Northern Ireland and died 20 June 1746 in Chilmark. Nine children born in Straban, Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

Generation 5: Margaret Homes m. John Allen
Generation 6: Rebecca Allen m. Wilmot Wass
Generation 7: Sarah Wass m. Samuel Osborn
Generation 8: Sarah Osborn m. Charles Skinner
Generation 9: Ann Skinner m. Thomas Ratchford Lyons
Generation 10: Isabella Lyons m. Rev. Ingraham Ebenezer Bill
Generation 11: Caleb Rand Bill m. Ann Margaret Bollman
Generation 12: Isabella Lyons Bill m. Albert Munroe Wilkinson
Generation 13: Donald Munroe Wilkinson m. Bertha Louise Roberts (my grandparents)

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Copyright © 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo



    1. Thank you, this is a website for Craighead House, home of the author Jean Craighead George in Pennsylvania. She was the author of over 100 children's books including "Julie of the Wolves", "My Side of the Mountain" and "Summer of the Falcon"

  2. Good morning Heather if I knew that you descend from the Cragheads I'd forgotten! I wrote the article on theim in the Dictionary of Irish Biography, and did not have parents' names for Robert C. senior. I did use the Craghead genealogy book, which doesn't seem to have those details. Do you know where their names are to be found? I'd like to add them to the article if you are sure abut them. I can send you the article if I didn't already do so. On a related topic there are some moves towards commemorating 1718 here; the Ulster Historical Foundation is involved. Nothing definite yet, but I'll keep you informed. Linde Lunney

  3. Heather,
    I am a Craighead. I wonder if you have ever visited Abel's Hill Cemetery near Chilmark, Martha's Vineyard, MA.
    The grave markers for Robert Holmes and Katherine Craighead Holmes were identifiable when I visited about 10 years ago. If you are interested in details, let me know. Charles in Georgia

    1. Charlie, yes, please give me the details. My sister lives on the island and could get me a photo. Thanks, Heather