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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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.

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The surname Cruickshank was 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.

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.


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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.

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

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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


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  • Mabel Cruickshank, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Montana, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944, 1948
  • Gordon S. Cruickshank, American politician, Representative from Virginia 11th District, 1994
  • Anne R. Cruickshank, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1972
  • 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
  • John Cruickshank (b. 1954), Canadian publisher of the Toronto Star (2009-2016)
  • George Cruickshank (1897-1970), Canadian politician
  • George Cruickshank (1853-1904), Australian politician

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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. Barrow, G.W.S Ed. Acts of Malcom IV 1153-65 Volume I Regesta Regum Scottorum 1153-1424. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1960. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  7. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  8. Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. Glasgow & London: Collins, 1968. Print. (ISBN 000411117-6).
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  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 16 March 2016 at 14:33.

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