The number of books available on the Craighead and Craghead family is small, but it is the backbone of the modern researcher toolkit. No other secondary source offers as much comprehensive information, or as much entertainment.
By no stretch of the imagination are these books 100% accurate. Many have glaring mistakes in them- misplaced people, wrong names, incorrect dates. Some even ignore entire branches of the family!
Below is a list of all books I am aware of on these families. In addition to these, there may be more books which are not primarily about this family but which include significant information. These, however, I have not included here. Availability I have noted along with the basic descriptions of each book. Eventually, I intend to transcribe the index, (where they exist,) and post it with each book.
If anyone reading this is aware of additional books; of secondary source books; or of additional locations these books may be found at, please contact the webmaster.
The Craighead Family:
A Genealogical Memoir of the Descendants of Rev. Thomas and Margaret Craighead, 1658-1876
Rev. James Geddes Craighead. Philadelphia, 1876. Simon & Company, Printers. 173 pages, with index of primary and secondary persons.
The Rev. J.G. Craighead was quite the Presbyterian, and the history and politics surrounding the Presbytery of Ireland occupies a good portion on the introduction of this work. The body includes individual listings for each Craighead descending from Rev Thomas & Margaret Craighead, who came over on the ship Thomas & Jane to Boston in 1715. Some of the passages are quite interesting in themselves, genealogy aside. However, it should be noted that, when this book was written, the number of Craigheads in the Tennessee and Virginia branches heavily outnumbered those recorded in this work, and the Rev J.G. must have been aware of their existence, yet chose not to include them. One can make ones own speculation as to why.... but it makes the work sadly incomplete.
Availability: LDS microfiche at 6060572
All indices are available online! Check our Archives section.
Cra(i)ghead Family, Va-Mo,
Mrs. W.B.(Dorothy) Craghead and Mrs. F.A.Craighead, Fulton, MO, 1953. Self Published on mimeograph machine. 350+ pages, plus addendum.
Includes index of primary and secondary persons.
For all those descending from John Craighead of Franklin County, Virginia, (whose house still stands!) is this rather large work. Dorothy & Co produced a master work here, one of the clearest and most valuable works. Everyone, regardless of who you are descended from, should read the introduction and the first chapter dealing with the origins of the family. The addenda alone is fascinating, a compilation of transcribed records and letters to the author containing many gems, along with comments made by Dorothy on some of them.
Availability: Roanoke County Library, Virginia Room
Mrs.W.B.(Dorothy) Craghead, Jetmore, KS, circa 1985. Self published on mimeograph machine- (poor copies). 150+ pages, no index.
From the work above, the branches of Tennessee Craigheads were omitted, largely because of the lack of information available about them at that time. Since then, Dorothy worked hard to right this omission, and was getting ready to put together a work when, in 1966, she lost her house, and all her research, in a fire. She spent the rest of her life trying to recompile her research by corresponding with her fellow researchers and obtaining loans back of the materials she had sent them. The result is that this book is simply a set of poorly copied letters and handwritten notes- much is indecipherable, but it also is the only toehold available for those researching the family lines going back to TN. Sadly, Dorothy died in the mid eighties, before she could complete a more comprehensive, (and readable!) work.
The Craghead Family of Western Virginia
Paul D. Craghead, Roanoke, VA, 1999. Self published and also issued on CD-ROM. ?IN PRINT?
A work I am unfamiliar with. What little I have from it show it essentially details the family of John Craighead, as in Dorothys 1953 work. Anyone with further info on this work, or further info on where it can be obtained, (as it is still, I assume, in print,) please contact me.
Availability: Collection of the Author, (excerpt only)
Craigheads in Early Maryland, (Essay)
Dave Casto, Menlo Park, CA, 1991. Self published, 10 pages.
A small but very valuable work on the theories and facts of the origins of all the Virginia and Tennessee branches, including those dealt with in Dorothys two works, and their possible connection to Thomas and Margaret Craighead of the 1876 work.
Availability: complete MS available online! Check our Archives section.