Cranfill History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Cranfill family lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Cranfill was a habitational name, taken on from a place in Bedfordshire named Cranfield, [1] derived the from Old English words "cran," or "crane" meaning "open," and "feld," meaning a "field." [2]

Early Origins of the Cranfill family

The surname Cranfill was first found in Bedfordshire (Old English: Bedanfordscir), located in Southeast-central England. [3] [4] The ancient Latin sourse "Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum" compiled in the reigns of Henry III - Edward I, listed Philippa de Cranefeld, Oxfordshire. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed: Alexander de Crannefeld in Huntingdonshire. [5]

Alternatively the name could have originated in Cranford, a parish, in the union of Kettering, hundred of Huxloe in Northamptonshire. In this case, the source "Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum" lists John de Cranniford and Ralph de Craneford, as the first on record. Later the Hundredorum Rolls listed: Geoffrey de Cranford in Devon; John de Cranford in Leicestershire; and Richard de Cranford in Buckinghamshire. [5]

Early History of the Cranfill family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cranfill research. Another 84 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1675, 1575, 1645, 1621, 1592, 1657, 1621, 1651, 1625, 1674, 1680, 1696, 1682, 1685, 1592, 1657 and 1592 are included under the topic Early Cranfill History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cranfill Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Cranfill include Cranfield, Cranefield and others.

Early Notables of the Cranfill family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Lionel Cranfield, 1st Earl of Middlesex (1575-1645), English merchant and nobleman, Lord High Treasurer in 1621; James Cranford (c.1592-1657), an English Presbyterian clergyman, active as a licenser of theological publications under the Commonwealth; James Cranfield, 2nd Earl of Middlesex (1621-1651), an English politician; Lionel Cranfield, 3rd Earl of...
Another 53 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cranfill Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cranfill family

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants: Edward and Anne Cranfield and their three sons, who came to Virginia in 1634; Peter Cranfeild, who came to Virginia in 1638; Francis Cranfield, who came to Barbados in 1657.


Contemporary Notables of the name Cranfill (post 1700) +

  • James Britton "JB" Cranfill (1858-1942), American religious figure and prohibitionist who was nominated for Vice President of the United States in 1892
  • Niven K. Cranfill, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • James Britton Cranfill (1858-1942), American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Vice President of the United States, 1892 [6]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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