Origins of Craggs:
It is a geographical surname which acquires from the Pennine Districts of Yorkshire, although with a special early Lancashire recording as well. There are different places mainly in the Calder Valley (Yorkshire) named as Hardcastle Craggs, Cragg Bottom, and Cragg Vale, while in Lancashire, Crag Hall is near to Lancaster, and there is a second Crag Hall, near Macclesfield. There is, however, no proof that these latter two sites, which are effectively just large houses, have been the ancestors of surnames. "Cragg(es)" is of Norse-Viking origin, the advancement being from the Scandinavian "Kragg" and the name acquires from one who lived at such a place. Locational surnames originated when a person departed from their original hamlet, the name given as a form of identification at their new home. However, a less rare origin is to be a descendant of the Kings of the Palace, and it would surely show that in this case the later "Cragg(es)" may well have this origin. Certainly, the name was well noted from the early 13th century, although surprisingly the Royal symbol was given in London. Examples of the surname record contain as Hudd del Crag in the Lancashire Assize Rolls of 1260, Peter de Kragg and John Cragges in the Premium Rolls of Yorkshire for the year 1301. Somewhat later records show Aicia Craggs of Howden, Yorkshire in January 1550, James Cragg of Dent, Yorkshire in January 1611, and John Cragg, who married Mary Hilditch at St Matthews Parish, Walsall, in March 1718.
More common variations are: Craiggs, Cragges, Crags, Craigs, Croggs, Graggs, Cruggs, Craghs, Criggs, Kraggs.
The surname Craggs first appeared in West Yorkshire at Cragg Vale, a hamlet that records back to Roman times. The Cragg Vale Coiners were a band of criminals from the area who made fake gold coins at the end of the 18th century.
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Henry Crag, dated about 1204, in the "York Assize Court." It was during the time of King John, who was known to be the “Lackland," dated 1199-1216. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Craggs had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Some of the people with the surname Craggs who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Mary Craggs, who came to Virginia in 1654.
Some of the individuals with the surname Craggs who landed in Australia in the 19th century included William Craggs, an English prisoner from York, who shifted aboard the "Ann" in August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia. Mary Craggs at the age of 25, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Star Queen."
Here is the population distribution of the last name Craggs: England 2,710; South Africa 548; United States 451; Australia 371; Canada 219; Wales 113; New Zealand 76; Scotland 66; Hong Kong 47; Singapore 41.
James Craggs the Elder (bap. June 1657–March 1721) was an English leader and the father of James Craggs the Younger. A son of Anthony Craggs of Holbeck, Durham, he was named in June 1657. After following various callings in London, Craggs, who was a person of significant financial ability, joined the service of the Duchess of Marlborough, and through her character became in 1702 member of parliament for Grampound, holding his seat until 1713.
James Craggs the Younger PC (April 1686–February 1721), was a British leader. He was born in Westminster, the son of James Craggs, the Elder.