There is a legend that the Roman Antonine Wall across Scotland was first breached by a Graham and due to this it is sometimes referred to as "Graeme's Dyke". More certainly, the Grahams can be traced back to the 12th century when William de Graham was granted lands of Abercorn and Dalkeith by King David I>. The name may have derived from the English town of Grantham which was spelt Graham in the Domesday Book. The Grahams had numerous branches in Menteith, Drymen, Angus> and the Borders.
Sir John Graham of Dundaff was described as the "richt hand" of William Wallace> and was killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298 (His gravestone and effigy can still be found in Falkirk Old Parish Church). The 3rd Lord Graham was created Earl of Montrose by James IV> and fell at the Battle of Flodden> in 1513. The 5th Earl was made Marquis of Montrose in 1644. A brilliant military tactician, he campaigned in support of King Charles I>.
John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee, gained the title of both "Bloody Clavers" and "Bonnie Dundee" depending on whether you were a Covenanter or not, as he fought to crush them. In 1689 at the Battle of Killiecrankie he led a force of Jacobite Highlanders to victory over the forces of King William of Orange>. But Viscount Dundee was killed leading the charge.
It was due to the efforts of the Marquis of Graham that the 1747 Act prohibiting or proscription of wearing tartan was repealed in 1782.
Graham was the 30th most frequent surname at the General Register Office> in 1995.
The clan motto is "Ne oublié" ("Never forget").
The Bonar, Bontine, Haddon and MacGrime families are septs (sub-branches) of Graham.
There is a Graham Web site here>.
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