McCrea / Family History
The McCrea ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Variants of the name Macrae include McCrae, McCrea, McCree, McCrie, McRea, Ray, Wray and Rea. This name in Gaelic is MacRaith and the latter variants are the anglicized forms of this. This name is usually of Scottish origin and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts in that country. Examples of such are a John Makcra who was recorded as being a messenger in Ayr in the year 1621. A Robert McCrie was charged with being a disorderly person in the parish of Carsfern in the year 1684. An Allan McKree was Burgess of Prestwick in the year 1733. Like their Irish Kinsmen many Scots were forced to seek emigration after the 1745 Rebellion. A part of this clan moved to Ireland where they settled in Counties Antrim and Down. The placename Ballymacrea in County Antrim is named after them. An early record locates these families in Ireland from the year 1600 where they became well established, even before the Plantation of Ulster.
The McCrea family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including McCrea descendants.