Graham surname history

Graham is a Scottish surname, deriving from the placename Grantham, also known as Graham, in modern Lincolnshire in England. It was taken to Scotland in the twelfth century by William de Graham, a Norman baron who held the manor of Grantham, and from whom virtually all modern bearers of the name are descended. In Ireland it is overwhelmingly concentrated in Ulster, in particular counties Down and Fermanagh, as well as Armagh, Monaghan and Tyrone. The Irish Grahams are mostly descended from a branch of the family which migrated from Midlothian to the Scottish borders in the middle ages and became, with the Armstrongs, the most powerful of the outlaw "riding clans". When the power of these clans was savagely broken by James I, many migrated to the north of Ireland, settling especially in Co. Fermanagh. Unlike the other clans, from that base the Grahams spread widely through the surrounding counties.

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