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


The lineage of the name Crankshaw begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in the village of Cranshaw (Cronkshaw) in Lancashire. The name is derived from the Old English "cran(uc)" which means "crane" + "sceaga" which means "grove" or "thicket." [1] Another source claims the name literally means "the twisting or winding shaw (wood.)" [2]

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The surname Crankshaw was first found in Lancashire at Cranshaw (Cronkshaw) in the parish of Rochdale or Bury. One of the first records of the name was William de Crounkeshawe who was listed there in 1412. [3] Cranshaws Castle or Cranshaws Tower is a 15th-century pele near the village of Cranshaws in Berwickshire, Scotland. The castle is thought to be the inspiration for "Ravenswood Castle", home of Edgar, the hero of Sir Walter Scott's tragedy the Bride of Lammermoor.

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Crankshaw has undergone many spelling variations, including Crawshaw, Crawshay, Crawshawe, Cranshaw, Crankshaw and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crankshaw research. Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1610, 1667, 1612 and 1649 are included under the topic Early Crankshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 135 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Crankshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Crankshaw were among those contributors: Joseph Crawsha who arrived in New York in 1822; James, Titus, and William Crawshaw, settled in Philadelphia in the 1860's; William Crawshaw settled in Virginia in 1624.

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  • Robert D. Crankshaw, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Indiana, 1972
  • Edward Crankshaw, Author & Correspondent on Soviet Affairs
  • Maurice Crankshaw, Cameraman
  • Revien Crankshaw, stuntman


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  1. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  10. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  11. ...

The Crankshaw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Crankshaw 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 18 November 2015 at 16:24.

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