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 Clan Macrae in the USA
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Hello, I am 14, i live in america and my grandpa, Larry Finch, was telling me and my brothers and cousins about our family history. He is my moms dad, so he is not a McCray, but MY dad is a McCray. My grandpa said that my family line is scottish, and that there is a castle for the family somewhere in scottland, this is the first time i looked into it, and the clan MaCrae was the closest thing i could find. Is McCray just an american way to spell the clan name or am I part of something else? please reply, i am eager to find out about my family line. thank you all for your time,
Travis McCray

Query posted by : Travis McCray

11 Mar 2004 at 03.30
The following replies have been posted in response to the above query. They are sorted chronologically according to the time of receipt, with the most recent at the end of the page.

Our ancestors were not so good at spelling and names were often written as they sounded. The MacRae Clan covers many variations of the name, including such diversities as MacRa and McGrath, so you are inevitably one of the clan!

Consequently, the castle you refer to is Eilean Donan and can be seen in the history section of this web site or the Eilean Donan web-site (

As for your family history, there is plenty of information on Clan MacRae web-site ( and other areas of the web.


Jon McRae
Clan MacRae Society

Reply posted by : Jon McRae

12 Mar 2004 at 14.55
Hi Travis:
While joining this site, I found an answer to your query. Unfortunatly it was sent to me. In answere to your questions, yes the castle is Eilean Donan & located in Dorney, the west coast
of Scotland. If you've seen The Hilander with Sean Conery, you've seen the bridge over the lock
as well as some of the building. THe history is very interesting. Now that you've started, enoy it will take you a long way!!
Lavora Mc Crae Setaro (Lonnie)I won't tell you how old I am, but I could be your grandmom.
P.S. THere are a lot of books too.

Reply posted by : Lavora Mc Crae Setaro

13 Mar 2004 at 20.06
I am 75 years old born at Nelsonville Ohio
spelling in 1936 was Mc rae There was _
under the little c and two horizontal dots under the dash. There was no way to print Mc/:
on a typewriter so the school I attended changed the spelling to McCray in 1936
I live close to Zanesville Ohio

Reply posted by : Delbert McCray

28 Mar 2005 at 06.55
Hello Travis;
Where is your family located? What are some of the family names? We are all searching and may have info to share. Mary McCray Gonzales

Reply posted by : Mary (mccray) Gonzales

26 Jan 2006 at 22.57
Hello Travis I am Stacey Mcrae (I'm almost 14)I'm also looking in my familys past from what I've learned the clan's name has been changed over the years .So you are most likely related to me and a nd a hole bunch of other people as well.I am looking forward for you to reply so we can look into the familys past together.Thankyou Stacey McRae

Reply posted by : Stacey McRae

14 May 2006 at 04.15
Hi Travis;
The spelling is varied by the person who wrote it in the census and bibles of the family. Since many did not read nor write, it was spelled as it sounded by those who could. It is a very large family and the web site you can find info on is and Hope you have fun looking it all up. We are from the family of James V. McCray of NC and GA. My email is, I am a Mary McCray, from my mother's family. Mary

Reply posted by : Mary (mccray) Gonzales

10 Nov 2008 at 03.06
Hey Travis, I just joined the clan forum and noticed you were asking about the castle. It's good to see young folks interested in clan history. I too had heard about the clan castle my entire life. My father had pictures of it hanging in the house. I always dreamed of visiting. That dream came true this summer. I visited Eilean Donan this past summer with my bride on our honeymoon. We stayed in the clan Bed and Breakfast. Eilean Donan located in the village of Dorne is an absolutely breath taking place. I highly recommend you visit some time in your life.

James McRae Beebe, Lt Col USAFR
San Antonio Tx

Reply posted by : James McRae Beebe

9 Jan 2009 at 18.43
There is a castle outside the village of Dornie, 11 miles from Kyle of Lochalsh, on the road to the Isle of Skye. It is called Eilean Donan Castle and is very beautiful. It was originally owned by the MacKenzie clan, and the Macrae's were keepers of the castle. At that time we were known as 'sheep stealers' within the area! Over a period of time, in the 19th century, we took over ownership of the castle. It is now open as a tourist attraction. Lots of information can be found online. Hope this is somewhat helpful. Our Macrae's are known as the 'Carolinas', back during the Scottish clearances in the late 1800's, our ancestors were shipped across to North Carolina with the promise of a 'better life'. I believe there is a meadow beside the Grandfather Mountain named after my Great-great-great uncle, Colin Macrae. Likewise, if you have any information, it would be greatly appreciated!

Reply posted by : Jade MacRae

12 Jun 2009 at 22.50
Good luck with your inquiries.
here are common variations to the name as it filtered thru society.
Example: I was told when my Great grandfather came over he changed the name to sound less scottish, Scots were considered 2nd class citizens in America in those days. (I have been told)
your list of names:

Mac is gaelic for "son" (with "mic" for "daughter"). Mc & M' are recognised abbreviations for "Mac", therefore "Rae", "Macrae", "Mcrae", and "M'Rae" are all correct examples of the name.
Crae, Cree, Macara, MacAree, Macarra, MacCara, MacCarra, MacCarres, MacCary, MacChray, MacCra, MacCrae, MacCraie, MacCraith, MacCrath, MacCraw, MacCray, MacCrea, MacCreath, MacCree, MacCreich, MacCreiff, MacCreith, MacCrie, MacCrow, MacCroy, MacGra, MacGrae, Macgrath, Macgraw, MacGreagh, Machray, Mackereth, MacKra, MacKrae, MacKraith, MacKray, MacKrayth, MacKree, MacKrie, Macra, Macrach, MacRad, MacRae, MacRah, MacRaht, Macraith, Macrath, MacRau, Macraw, Macray, MacRe, MacRea, MacReath, MacReay, MacRee, MacReith, MacReth, MacRey, Macrie, MacRoe, MacRow, MacRoy, MacWray, Magrath, Makcra, Makcreith, Makcrie, Makerathe, Makra, Makraa, Makrath, Makreith, Rae, Raith, Ray, Rea, Reath, Reay, Ree, Reith, Reithe, Rethe, Reyth, Wrae, Wray.

peace to you,
G. Ray

Reply posted by : Greg Ray

25 Jun 2009 at 23.02
There are many spellings of the name. Census takers and others spelled names the way they sounded to them at the time, so we ended up with a lot of different ones. The castle is Eileen Donan Castle and the MacRae family is still very much a part of Scotland. Mary (McCray) Gonzales

Reply posted by : Mary (mccray) Gonzales

8 Oct 2009 at 21.55
Hi Travis,

As others have said, the Castle is Eilean Donan in Kintail. My surname is McCray and we are very much part of the clan. I am also looking for some ancestors. I don't know when my Grandfather's family emigrated to the States, we have since moved back to Britain, but I think it was in the 18th century. My great-grandfather was Tom McCray. If anyone has any information, I would appreciate any help.

Alden McCray

Reply posted by : Alden McCray

4 Jan 2010 at 22.06
im 24, and my names Adam McCray, im from florida united states, my grandfathers from penn.i never knew there was so many mccrays out there! very cool, were all related in someway or another, the macrae clan must have been a big one!

Reply posted by : Adam McCray

5 May 2013 at 12.04
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