The Border Reivers

A couple of tales exist relating to where the Graham clan came from.  One states they were descendents of a man called Graeme, who in Roman times helped to breach the Antonine Wall which ran between the Rivers Clyde and Forth.  However it is more likely that they were of Norman French origin and initially settled in Grantham in Lincolnshire from which they took their name.  Their original name is likely to have been De Grantham, which over the years changed to De Graham and finally shortened to Graham.

It is known that the clan moved to Scotland in 12th Century where a William de Graham is recorded in 1127.  The Grahams were accepted as Scottish citizens after one of the clan married into the native Scottish family of Strathearn. Whilst spread throughout areas of both Scotland and England, The Graham clan were mainly associated with Dumfriesshire and Cumberland. 

The Grahams are one of the most notorious of the Reiver families and often raided the lands of their arch enemies the Robsons of North Northumberland.

By 1552 legend states that the Graham clan was at least 500 strong occupying 13 Pele towers.

Following the Union of England and Scotland in 17th Century, some of the most ruthless Grahams were sent to Ireland with other tribesmen including Kerrs, Armstrongs and Eliots and forbidden to return.