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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Cruickshank family come from? What is the Scottish Cruickshank family crest and coat of arms? When did the Cruickshank family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Cruickshank family history?

Cruickshank was first used as a surname by descendants of the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The ancestors of the Cruickshank family lived at or near the Cruick River in Kincardinshire. The word shank means a point of a hill. Some people mistakenly think the name is a nickname for someone who had crooked shanks or was bowlegged but this was not the case.


Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Cruickshank has appeared Cruickshank, Cruikshank, Crookshank, Crookshanks and many more.

First found in Kincardineshire (Gaelic: A' Mhaoirne), a former county on the northeast coast of the Grampian region of Scotland, and part of the Aberdeenshire Council Area since 1996, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cruickshank research. Another 229 words(16 lines of text) covering the year 1296 is included under the topic Early Cruickshank History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Cruickshank Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Cruickshank:

Cruickshank Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Cruickshank who settled in Newport Rhode Island in 1823

Cruickshank Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Margaret Cruickshank, aged 30, arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "Lady Nugent" in 1841
  • James Cruickshank, aged 26, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" in 1841850
  • Christina Cruickshank, aged 20, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" in 1841850
  • James Cruickshank, aged 26, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" in 1850
  • Christina Cruickshank, aged 20, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Phoebe Dunbar" in 1850


  • Robert "Bobby" Allan Cruickshank (1894-1975), Scottish professional PGA golfer
  • Flying Officer John Alexander Cruickshank (b. 1920), Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Helen Burness Cruickshank (1886-1975), Scottish poet and suffragette
  • Andrew Cruickshank (1907-1988), Scottish actor
  • George Cruickshank (1897-1970), Canadian politician
  • George Cruickshank (1853-1904), Australian politician
  • Adrian Cruickshank (1937-2010), Australian politician, member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly (19841999)
  • Dame Joanna Cruickshank CBE (1875-1958), British founder of the RAF Nursing Service in November 1918
  • Jamie Cruickshank (b. 1986), Canadian former Olympic bobsledder
  • Dan Cruickshank (b. 1949), British art historian and BBC television presenter



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Vis fortibus armas
Motto Translation: Strength is arms to the brave.


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  1. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  7. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  8. Warner, Philip Warner. Famous Scottish Battles. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1996. Print. (ISBN 0-76070-004-4).
  9. Moncrieffe, Sir Ian of That Ilk and Don Pottinger. Clan Map Scotland of Old. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1983. Print.
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Scots Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Mordern Application of the Art and Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  11. ...

The Cruickshank Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Cruickshank Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 29 June 2015 at 09:59.

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