Show ContentsCrank History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Crank is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having lived in the village of Crank in northern Lancashire.

Early Origins of the Crank family

The surname Crank was first found in Lancashire, where they held a family seat from ancient times. The village of Crank is or was near Rainford where there is also Crank Hall and Crank Farm. This would reasonably be the seat of the family name, although they also seemed to have had interest in northern Lancashire in the Silverdale and Furness areas.

Early History of the Crank family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crank research. Another 72 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1121, 1662, 1692, 1746, 1748, and 1826 are included under the topic Early Crank History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crank Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Crank family name include Crank, Cranc, Cranke, Cranch and others.

Early Notables of the Crank family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Crank Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crank Ranking

In the United States, the name Crank is the 8,583rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]

United States Crank migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Crank surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Crank Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Crank who arrived in Virginia in 1734
  • Edward Crank, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1776 [2]

Australia Crank migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Crank Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Crank, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Claudine" on 20th May 1821, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

New Zealand Crank migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Crank Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Martha Crank, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Solent" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 30th July 1857 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Crank (post 1700) +

  • William J. "Billy" Crank, American actor
  • Chelsea Yvonne Crank (b. 1987), American actress, known for Rampage
  • Fillmore Pajeau "Paj" Crank III (b. 1981), American actor, older brother of Chelsea Crank
  • James F. Crank, American politician, Member of California State Assembly 2nd District, 1881-83 [5]
  • David Crank, American Primetime Emmy Award winning, two-time Art Directors Guild award winning art director, known for his work on There Will Be Blood (2007), Lincoln (2012) and Hannibal (2001)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. John Crank, English Baggage Master from Tuebrook, Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking [6]

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  2. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 17th February 2021). Retrieved from
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 13) . Retrieved from
  6. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook