Select Cruickshank Genealogy

Cruickshank Ė with its variants Cruikshank and Cruikshanks - is a Scottish surname found in the northeast of the country.  The most likely origin of the name is locational Ė that it comes from the river Cruick in Kincardineshire where cruick means a hook or bend in the river and shank means a point of a hill. 

Alternatively, some have suggested that Cruickshank is a nickname for a man with a crooked leg or legs.  Cruick here again means hook or bend and shank a leg-bone

Select Cruickshank Resources on The Internet

Select Cruickshank Ancestry

ScotlandEarly mentions of the name were:
  • Chistin Crukschank in the foundation charter of Urchany chapel (in present-day Ross and Cromarty) in 1334
  • and Cristinus Cruksank who was admitted as a burgess in Aberdeen in 1408.
Cruickshank had many variant spellings.  The spelling began to standardize in the early 1600ís.  Aberdeen had the largest numbers then.  But the name started to spread southwards towards Edinburgh later in the century.

.  John Cruickshank was a tenant at Achnahandet in 1671.  Cruickshanks started to appear in increasing numbers at Forgue and Drumblade in the 1700ís.  William Cruickshank, born there in 1776, made his home at Rothiemay across the border in Morayshire.

George Cruickshank married Jean Stewart at Huntly in 1790.  Another
George Cruickshank married Anne Allen at Longside in 1815.  Both had descendants who emigrated to Canada.

.  Andrew Crookshanks was an Edinburgh customs inspector who was dispossessed of his position for his role in the Jacobite uprising in 1745.  His youngest son Isaac left Edinburgh to seek his fortune in London.

William S. Cruikshank, born in Banffshire in 1856, was the man who built the Kingís Theatre in Edinburgh in 1906. Cruikshanks continued to run his theatrical firm in Edinburgh until 2006.

Isaac Cruikshank, who arrived in London in 1783, had within ten years established himself as one of the leading caricaturists and book illustrators of his day. 

His two sons, Robert and George, followed in his footsteps.  George became even more famous.  His book illustrations for his friend Charles Dickens and other authors reached an international audience.  Upon Georgeís death in 1878, it was discovered that he had fathered eleven illegitimate children with a mistress named Adelaide Attree, his former servant.

.  There were Scots Irish Cruikshanks who came to America: 
  • one was Andrew Cruikshank who came to Pennsylvania and fought under Captain Samuel Miller in the Revolutionary War.  When Miller was killed by Indians in 1778, Andrew married Millerís widow.  He later became a wagon-master between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.
  • another was John J. Cruikshank, born in Dublin, who also came to Pennsylvania, in his case in 1826.  He headed west in the 1840ís and started a lumber business in Hannibal, Missouri in 1856.  His son John became a wealthy lumber baron and built himself Rockcliffe Mansion in Hannibal.
And another Pennsylvania arrival, this time in 1831 from Scotland, was Alexander Cruickshank a stonemason.   He settled in Allegheny.  He soon became a grocer there and his family turned their attention to producing jams and jellies.  The Cruickshank Brothers Co. was successful and continued in operation until 1956.

George P. Cruickshank
meanwhile had moved to Autuauga county, Alabama in 1822.  He was killed there eight years later.  His son Marcus was an Alabama politician during the Civil War, his grandson George the newspaper editor of the Birmingham Chronicle.

  Robert Cruickshank came to Montreal from Aberdeen around the year 1773.  He established himself as a silversmith and merchant in the town. 

Among later Cruickshanks who came to Canada were: 
  • James and Elizabeth Cruickshank from Cromdale in Aberdeenshire who emigrated to Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia around the year 1803.  Their descendants later settled in Minnesota.
  • Alexander and Elizabeth Cruickshank from Huntly who came in the late 1830ís and made their home in Gatineau, Quebec.  Other family members arrived in the 1850ís, settling in Ontario.  James Cruickshank founded the Cruickshank Carriage Works in Weston.  His brother George made his home in Heathcote, also starting a carriage works.
  • Robert Cruickshank from Longside meanwhile came out to Saskatchewan sometime in the 1890ís.  He was recorded as a ranch owner in the Moose Jaw region in the 1901 census.
Select Cruickshank Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Cruickshank Names

Isaac Cruikshank, born in Scotland, was an 18th century caricaturist who did most of his work in London. 
George Cruikshank, his son, was perhaps even more famous as a caricaturist
and book illustrator.  His book illustrations for Dickens and other writers reached an international audience.
John Cruikshank was a 19th century American lumber baron whose operations were based in Hannibal, Missouri.
Helen Cruickshank
 was a Scottish suffragette, poet, and focal point of the Scottish Renaissance in the early/mid 20th century

Select Cruickshanks Today
  • 7,000 in the UK (most numerous in Aberdeenshire)
  • 2,000 in America (most numerous in New York)
  • 6,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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