Show ContentsCruicshank History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Cruicshank family were part of an ancient Scottish tribe called the Picts. They 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 Cruicshank family

The surname Cruicshank 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 Cruicshank family

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

Cruicshank Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Cruicshank has been spelled Cruickshank, Cruikshank, Crookshank, Crookshanks and many more.

Early Notables of the Cruicshank family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Cruicshank family

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Cruicshank: John Cruickshank who settled in Newport R.I. in 1823; J. Cruikshank settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1852; Robert Cruikshank settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1851.

The Cruicshank 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) on Facebook