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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the Scottish Schank family come from? What is the Scottish Schank family crest and coat of arms? When did the Schank family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Schank family history?

An ancient Scottish tribe called the Boernicians were the ancestors of the first people to use the surname Schank. It is a name for a person with long legs, or a peculiar manner of gait. Schank is a nickname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Nicknames form a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, and can refer directly or indirectly to one's personality, physical attributes, mannerisms, or even their habits of dress. It derives from the Old English word sceanca, which means shin bone, or leg. While this word has survived in Scotland, it has been replaced in England, by the Old Norse word leggr, which means leg.


Spelling rules only evolved in the last few centuries with the invention of the printing press and the first dictionaries. Spelling variations are extremely common in names from before that period. Schank has been spelled Shank, Shanke, Schank, Schanke, Shankis, Schankis, Shanks, Shanx, Schanx and many more.

First found in Midlothian, where the family held a family seat from very ancient times. They were designated as 'Shank of that Ilk" meaning an ancient Clan who possessed lands of that same name. Murdoch Shank, son of the first recorded chief of the Clan of Shank in Mid Lothian, was granted the lands of Kinghorn in Fife by a Charter from King Robert the Bruce of Scotland in the year 1319 for his allegiance and loyalty of the clan in his fight for the crown of Scotland.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Schank research. Another 213 words(15 lines of text) covering the years 1426, 1489, 1490, 1620, 1630, 1636, 1643, 1725, and 1823 are included under the topic Early Schank History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 42 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Schank Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Schank family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 264 words(19 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


After making their great crossing, many Boernician-Scottish families settled along the east coast of North America. When the War of Independence broke out, United Empire Loyalists moved north to Canada while the rest stayed to fight. The ancestors of many of these Scots still populate the continent. This century, through clan societies and other Scottish organizations, they began to rediscover their collective national heritage. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Schank or a variant listed above:

Schank Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Theobald Schank, who landed in America in 1740

Schank Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Karl Schank, who arrived in Brazil in 1825
  • Nikolaus Schank, who arrived in America in 1837
  • Peter Schank, who landed in North America in 1840
  • Franz Karl Schank, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1846
  • Jakob Schank, who arrived in North America in 1847


  • Admiral John Schank (1740-1823), Scottish officer of the British Royal Navy, eponym of Cape Schanck, Victoria, Australia


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: Spero
Motto Translation: I hope.


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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  2. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  3. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  4. 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).
  5. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  6. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  8. Paul, Sir James Balfour. An Ordinary of Arms Contained in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland Second Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1903. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Schank Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Schank Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 13 June 2012 at 08:47.

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