MacRaes to America!!: A Brief History of the Clan MacRae with Records of MacRae, Ray, MacRath, McGrath & Related Families
Persons with the surname McRae, or several variations thereof, are listed by state. Information was taken mainly from U.S. censuses from 1790 to 1850.
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I have used several sources to compile the records in this book, chiefly, the United
States Census, which has been published every ten years since 1790, and which hasbeen compiled and indexed by numerous parties over the years. The most recent
records available to the public are from 1930. Not all years are fully represented, and
the best coverage occurs from 1790 to 1850, although some later records are included
as noted. References in this book apply to either Microfilm rolls in the National
Archives or to a published Index of that year.
American census records provide a great many clues about our families, if we can
find them. In the case of MacRaes or MacAnybody you cannot use the Soundex
System to reduce the number of records you must go through to find your
MacSomebody. The Soundex simply looks at the first few letters and gives you too
many people in your search if you come from a Celtic background. You wind up
with MacEverybody. So, I decided to compile and correct the census records
available for our Clan, taking special note of common Scottish first names which had
been misspelled and for whom an online search would have therefore not been
Not all census enumerators were familiar with Scottish or Irish spellings, and even
our ancestors themselves may not have been consistent. This means that the same
person may have had many different surnames in the records. When a surname is
spelled consistently here, it may be indicative of the way it was spelled overseas
prior to arrival in America and may give indications as to where to look
geographically to go further back.
All of the spelling variants listed in the front of this book have been compiled, and
the records have been organized by State and listed alphabetically by first name
regardless of how the last name was recorded. I have also suggested alternative
spellings for forenames in brackets.
When a record appears to be a duplication, it has been removed, which means that if
you are told to look on a certain page of the Census of 1840, you must look at ALL
of the persons on that page who are spelled similarly so as not to miss your
A note about women in the records: the tradition in America used to be that a
woman was listed by her husband’s first name if she were widowed, and her own
first name if she were divorced. So, a Mrs. A. MacRae might have been the widow
of A. MacRae or she may have been divorced and have had the first initial A.
As to ethnicity, not all persons in this book appear to be members of our clan, as
some have clearly Germanic associations in names as well as in places of birth, and
this is particularly noticeable with the surname RATH. Perhaps there is a
connection, yet to be discovered, so they have been included.
If you find a record in this book you wish to examine, you have several options.
You can go to the national or regional location of the National Archives to view the
actual record and obtain a copy, or to the DAR Library in Washington, DC where
the microfilms are held in the Seimes Collection. The records have been indexed in
book format geographically. Many good regional libraries have genealogical
collections which contain the microfilm or the indices, or can order them upon
request. The website <www.ancestry.com> now makes it easy to view these
documents online and order digitally enhanced copies of the originals (fee for access
and for copies). A professional Genealogist can obtain these records for you if you
prefer; see the websites of The Board for Certification of Genealogists at
www.bcgcertification.org. I do not endorse any particular approach and have used all of the
SAMPLE OF DATA:
MC CREA, Farquhas [Farquhar]
State: New York, Year: 1830, County: Rensselaer, Roll: M19_105, Township:Troy 2nd Ward, Page: 32, 1830 US Federal Census
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MacRaes to America!!: A Brief History of the Clan MacRae with Records of ...
Cornelia Wendell Bush
No preview available - 2006