Shank History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

An ancient Scottish tribe called the Boernicians were the first to use the surname Shank. It is a name for a person with long legs, or a peculiar manner of gait. Shank 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.

Early Origins of the Shank family

The surname Shank was 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.

Early History of the Shank family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shank research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1426, 1490, 1489, 1490, 1643, 1725, 1636, 1620, 1630, 1635 and are included under the topic Early Shank History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shank Spelling Variations

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. Shank has been spelled Shank, Shanke, Schank, Schanke, Shankis, Schankis, Shanks, Shanx, Schanx and many more.

Early Notables of the Shank family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Shank, also spelled Shanke or Shanks (died 1636), an actor in English Renaissance theatre, a leading comedian in the King's Men during the 1620s and 1630s. A long time resident in St. Giles's, Cripplegate, "he speaks...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shank Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Shank family to Ireland

Some of the Shank family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Shank migration to the United States +

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 Shank or a variant listed above:

Shank Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Stephen Shank, who settled in Barbados in 1663
Shank Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Johannes Shank, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1731 [1]
  • Andreas Shank, aged 23, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [1]
  • Jacob Shank, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1737 [1]
  • Hans Jacob Shank, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1738 [1]
  • Dieble Shank, aged 25, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1741 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Shank Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Conrad Shank, who arrived in Maryland in 1844 [1]
  • Mark Shank, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1870 [1]

Canada Shank migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Shank Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Henry Shank U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway, [Shelbourne], Nova Scotia on October 26, 1783 was passenger number 11 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on September 20, 1783 at East River, New York, USA [2]
  • Capt. David Shank U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784 he served in the Queens Rangers [2]
Shank Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Shank, who landed in Canada in 1831

Australia Shank migration to Australia +

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

Shank Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Shank, aged 22, a farm servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Shank (post 1700) +

  • Christopher B. Shank, American politician from Maryland, Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
  • Clifford Everett "Bud" Shank Jr. (1926-2009), American alto saxophonist and flautist, best known for his flute solo on the Mamas & Papas song California Dreamin'
  • Harvey Shank (b. 1946), Canadian retired Major League Baseball player
  • Taylor Bryan Shank, English writer, known as a war poet of World War I
  • Sandra Shank Beckwith (b. 1943), American politician, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Ohio, 1992- [4]

The Shank 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: Spero
Motto Translation: I hope.

Suggested Readings for the name Shank +

  • 2425 "Schenck, Shenk, Shank" by Thomas L/ Shank.

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ South Australian Register Monday 27th March 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Sir Edward Parry 1854. Retrieved
  4. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate