Cruickshanks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Cruickshanks family name was first used by descendants of the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. It is a name for someone who 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 Cruickshanks family

The surname Cruickshanks 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 Cruickshanks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cruickshanks 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 Cruickshanks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cruickshanks Spelling Variations

Scribes in the Middle Ages did not have access to a set of spelling rules. They spelled according to sound, the result was a great number of spelling variations. In various documents, Cruickshanks has been spelled Cruickshank, Cruikshank, Crookshank, Crookshanks and many more.

Early Notables of the Cruickshanks family (pre 1700)

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


United States Cruickshanks migration to the United States +

The cruelties suffered under the new government forced many to leave their ancient homeland for the freedom of the North American colonies. Those who arrived safely found land, freedom, and opportunity for the taking. These hardy settlers gave their strength and perseverance to the young nations that would become the United States and Canada. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the name Cruickshanks:

Cruickshanks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Charles Cruickshanks, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1760 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Cruickshanks (post 1700) +

  • John Cruickshanks, Scottish footballer who played in 1946
  • Grahame Lawrence Cruickshanks (1913-1941), Eastern Province and South African cricketer
  • Eveline Cruickshanks, English historian specializing in Jacobitism and Toryism

Halifax Explosion
  • Master Ralph S.  Cruickshanks (1910-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [3]
  • Mrs. Cruickshanks, Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [3]
  • Master Walter B.  Cruickshanks (1913-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [3]
  • Mrs. Estella B.  Cruickshanks (1887-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the explosion but later died due to injuries [3]
  • Master Alton R.  Cruickshanks (1916-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [3]


The Cruickshanks 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. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance


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