Show ContentsCrookshanks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The story of the Crookshanks family begins in ancient Scotland among the Pictish clans. The Crookshanks 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. [1]

Early Origins of the Crookshanks family

The surname Crookshanks 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.

"The two counties with which the name is most intimately connected are Kincardine and Aberdeen, and in the former we have the river Cruick rising in the parish of Fearn and joining the North Esk near the Kirk of Stracathro." [1]

Some of the first records of the family include John Crokeshanks, burgess of Haddington, who rendered homage to King Edward I of England in 1296 and Christin Crukschank who is mentioned in foundation charter of the chapel of Urchany in 1334. Later, Cristinus Cru sank was admitted burgess of Aberdeen in 1408, and John Cru sank was one of the burgesses of Aberdeen selected to accompany the provost to the field of Harlaw in 1411. [1]

Early History of the Crookshanks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Crookshanks research. Another 222 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1408, 1411, 1414, 1434, 1452, 1453, 1535, 1550, 1688 and 1644 are included under the topic Early Crookshanks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Crookshanks Spelling Variations

Translation has done much to alter the appearance of many Scottish names. It was a haphazard process that lacked a basic system of rules. Spelling variations were a common result of this process. Crookshanks has appeared Cruickshank, Cruikshank, Crookshank, Crookshanks and many more.

Early Notables of the Crookshanks family (pre 1700)

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

United States Crookshanks migration to the United States +

Many Scots left their country to travel to the North American colonies in search of the freedom they could not find at home. Of those who survived the difficult voyage, many found the freedom they so desired. There they could choose their own beliefs and allegiances. Some became United Empire Loyalists and others fought in the American War of Independence. The Clan societies and highland games that have sprung up in the last century have allowed many of these disparate Scots to recover their collective national identity. A search of immigration and passenger ship lists revealed many early settlers bearing the Crookshanks name:

Crookshanks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Crookshanks, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [2]
  • James Crookshanks, who arrived in New England in 1750 [2]
Crookshanks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Crookshanks, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1852 [2]

Australia Crookshanks migration to Australia +

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

Crookshanks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Crookshanks who was convicted in Fort George, Inverness, Scotland for 7 years, transported aboard the "Circassian" on 4th November 1832, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Crookshanks (post 1700) +

  • Captain John Crookshanks (1708-1795), British Naval officer who entered as a volunteer on board the Torbay with Captain Nicholas Haddock in the autumn of 1725 [4]

The Crookshanks Motto +

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.

  1. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  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 of Australia. Retrieved 8th February 2021 from
  4. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook