New database: MacRaes to America!!

Eilean Donan Castle, image by Syxaxis Photography, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Today we’re announcing a new database MacRaes to America, 1755-1930. This database contains over 9,500 entries pertaining to MacRae families across the United States.

This database presents Cornelia Wendell Bush’s ebook MacRaes to America!! A Brief History of the Clan MacRae, With Records of MacRae, Ray, MacRath, McGrath & Related Families which traces this surname through United States censuses.

Interested researchers should be sure to consult the introductory content:

How to Use this Book

Spelling Variants

MacRae Name and Early History

Below is an excerpt from “How To Use this Book”:

MacRaes to America!! combines my original research on the Clan’s history with my original research on the Spelling Variants of the name MacRae, and then uses the census to identify geographical locations in the United States for persons with the surname MacRae.

The records have been organized by State and listed alphabetically by first name regardless of how the last name was recorded.

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.

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 [ancestor].

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.

The MacRaes and MacGraths arrived in America in record numbers, and by the first Census of the United States in 1790, they accounted for approximately 400 persons. Of these, the largest number were called RAY (228 persons) and the next largest number were called MCRAE (51 persons), plus the other spelling variants.

By 1930, American members of our Clan totaled almost 120,000 persons. Of these, the RAYs accounted for 61,919 persons and the MCGRATHs accounted for 12,295 persons, followed by GRATHs at 8,003 persons, RAEs at 7,277 persons, WRAYs at 6,860 persons, REAs at 5,837 persons, RATHs 5744 persons, MCRAEs at 5,082 persons and so on.

Please note: This database is available to Individual-level and above NEHGS members only. Consider membership.