Cruickshank History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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. 
Early Origins of the Cruickshank family
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.
"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." 
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. 
Early History of the Cruickshank family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cruickshank 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 Cruickshank History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cruickshank Spelling Variations
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.
Early Notables of the Cruickshank family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Cruickshank Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Cruickshank is the 15,876th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 
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
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:
Cruickshank Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.