MacRae Clan Crest: An arm holding a sword aloft.
MacRae Clan Motto: Fortitudine (With fortitude).
History of Clan MacRae:
The surname in translation from the Gaelic means “Son of Grace.” By the 14th century, the Clan was firmly established in Wester Ross, giving allegiance to Clan Mackenzie and in so doing, becoming Hereditary Chamberlains of Kintail and Constables of Eilean Donan Castle.
In 1539, Eilean Donan was besieged by Donald of Sleat who was hoping to resurrect the Lordship of the Isles. The MacDonald Chief was killed, and from then on the fortunes of the Mackenzies and the Macraes went from strength to strength. Three branches of Clan Macrae subsequently emerged, those of Conchra, Clunes and Feoirlinn.
James MacRae (1677-1748) born at Ochiltree, emigrated to India and became Governor of Madras. Thomas McCrie (1772-1835), born at Duns, he was author of lives of Knox and Melville. Thomas McCrie (1798-1875) was son of previous, and became Professor of the Presbyterian College of London. Sir William Hunter McCrea (1904-1999) was an astrophysicist who made a vital contribution towards understanding the sun's composition. John Duncan MacRae (1905-1967) was born in Glasgow and became a much loved Scottish actor and comedian. Gordon MacRae (1922-86) was a popular Hollywood film star who appeared in various musicals, including Oklahoma.
Surname distribution in Scotland: The MacRae name is most common in The Western Isles (the main islands include Lewis and Harris, North Uist, South Uist, Benbecula and Barra) and Highland (an amalgamation of the historic counties of Caithness, Inverness-shire, Nairnshire, Ross and Cromarty and Sutherland).
Places of Interest: Eilean Donan, Kyle of Lochalsh. The castle was built in the 13th century and held by the Macraes as Constables for the Mackenzies of Seaforth. The Castle serves as a War Memorial for Clan Macrae.
Associated family names (Septs): Crae, Cree, MacAra, MacArra, MacCra, MacCrach, MacRae, MacRaith, MacCraw, MacCray, MacCrea, MacCreath, MacCree, MacCrie, MacCrow, MacCroy, MacGrath, MacGraw, MacHray, MacRa, MacRach, MacRaith, MacRath, MacRaw, MacRay, MacRie, Rae, Raith, Ray, Rea, Reath.