Cruikshanks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The annals of Scottish history reveal that Cruikshanks was first used as a name by ancestors of the Pictish tribe of ancient Scotland. The Cruikshanks 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 Cruikshanks family

The surname Cruikshanks 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 Cruikshanks family

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

Cruikshanks Spelling Variations

Before the first dictionaries appeared in the last few hundred years, scribes spelled according to sound. spelling variations are common among Scottish names. Cruikshanks has been spelled Cruickshank, Cruikshank, Crookshank, Crookshanks and many more.

Early Notables of the Cruikshanks family (pre 1700)

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

Migration of the Cruikshanks family

In those unstable times, many had no choice but to leave their beloved homelands. Sickness and poverty hounded travelers to North America, but those who made it were welcomed with land and opportunity. These settlers gave the young nations of Canada and the United States a strong backbone as they stood up for their beliefs as United Empire Loyalists and in the American War of Independence. In this century, the ancestors of these brave Scots have begun to recover their illustrious heritage through Clan societies and other heritage organizations. Early passenger and immigration lists reveal many Scottish settlers bearing the name Cruikshanks: 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 Cruikshanks 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)


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