Rankin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the Rankin family. Their name comes from the personal name Randolph, with the addition of the diminutive suffix -kin.

Early Origins of the Rankin family

The surname Rankin was first found in Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir), formerly a county in the southwestern Strathclyde region of Scotland, that today makes up the Council Areas of South, East, and North Ayrshire.

"There is a tradition of descent from one John, son of a knight called Jacob de Rankine, burgomaster of Ghent, who married a daughter of the head of the house of Keith, and became progenitor of the Rankines. " [1] This tradition is difficult to prove but was nevertheless authored by M. H. Rankin, Esq.

Early History of the Rankin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rankin research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1400, 1600, 1672, 1719, 1587, 1587, 1629 and are included under the topic Early Rankin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rankin Spelling Variations

Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Rankin has been spelled Rankin, Ranken, Ranking, Rankene, Rankine and others.

Early Notables of the Rankin family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Lieutenant John Rankin (ca 1600s), British Royal Navy, eponym of Rankin Inlet, Canada. Alexander Ramkins (c.1672-1719) was a Scottish adherent of James II, born...
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rankin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Rankin family to Ireland

Some of the Rankin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 105 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rankin migration to the United States +

Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Rankins to arrive on North American shores:

Rankin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Lawlin Rankin, who settled in Virginia in 1650
  • Andrew Rankin, who settled in New England in 1651
Rankin Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Esther Rankin, who landed in New England in 1730 [2]
  • Alexander Rankin, who settled in Boston in 1764
  • Daniel Rankin, aged 18, who landed in New York, NY in 1774 [2]
  • Hugh Rankin, aged 22, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1774 [2]
  • Andrew Rankin, aged 18, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1776 [2]
Rankin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Albert Rankin, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803-1827 [2]
  • Arthur Rankin, who arrived in America in 1811 [2]
  • Alexander Rankin, aged 38, who arrived in New York in 1812 [2]
  • Elizabeth Rankin, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [2]
  • James Rankin, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1812 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Rankin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rankin Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mrs. Abigail Rankin U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 [3]
  • Mr. Abram Rankin U.E., (Abraham) born in Pennsylvania, USA who settled in Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 part of a settlement of Quakers named after William Penn [3]
  • Mr. Angus Rankin U.E. who settled in Schoodic Falls [St. Stephen], Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 member of the 74th Regiment [3]
  • Miss. Anne Rankin U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 listed as a child more than 10 years of age [3]
  • Mr. John Rankin U.E. who settled in Pennfield, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783 part of a settlement of Quakers named after William Penn [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Rankin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Henry Rankin, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Edward Reid" in 1833

Australia Rankin migration to Australia +

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

Rankin Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Richard Rankin, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Alexander Rankin, a malster, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • John Rankin, a bricklayer, who arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Robert Rankin a farmer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [5]
  • Isabella Rankin, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Rankin migration to New Zealand +

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:

Rankin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mary Rankin, aged 22, a farm servant, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bengal Merchant" in 1840
  • James Rankin, aged 21, a collier, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Blenheim" in 1840
  • Alexander Rankin, aged 40, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • Elizabeth Rankin, aged 38, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • Margaret Rankin, aged 19, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Tyne" in 1841
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rankin (post 1700) +

  • John W. Rankin, American Naval officer, Captain of the USS Phoenix cruiser at Pearl Harbor
  • John E. Rankin (1882-1960), American politician, United States Representative from Mississippi
  • Reverend John Rankin (1793-1886), American Presbyterian minister, educator and abolitionist
  • Brigadier-General Fred Wharton Rankin (1886-1954), American Chief Consultant, Office of the Surgeon-General (1942-1945) [6]
  • Nell Rankin (1924-2005), American operatic mezzo-soprano
  • James Lee Rankin (1907-1996), American lawyer, who was U.S. Solicitor General (1956-1961)
  • Jeannette Rankin (1880-1973), American feminist and first female member of Congress
  • Robert J. Rankin, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 10 aerial victories
  • C. F. Rankin, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Alabama, 1892 [7]
  • Barrick Samuel Rankin (b. 1872), American Republican politician, Physician; Surgeon [7]
  • ... (Another 75 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. James Rankin, British Engineer ex Empress of Asia from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [8]
  • Miss Alexander Carmichael Rankin, British Second Writer from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [8]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Rankin, British Stoker 2nd Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [9]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. Robert Rankin, American 1st Class Passenger from Ithaca, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 11 [10]


The Rankin 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: Fortiter et recte
Motto Translation: Boldly and rightly.


Suggested Readings for the name Rankin +

  • 909 Selections from a Van Rensselaer Family Library: 1536-1799 by Joyce Jackson.

  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Almorah voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1817 with 180 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/almorah/1817
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1837. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837Navarino.htm
  6. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2014, March 26) Fred Rankin. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Rankin/Fred_Wharton/USA.html
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
  9. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  10. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 7) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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