Origin of the Crawfords

The Crawford coat of arms and the Crawford crest.
(The motto "Tutum te robore reddam" means "I will give you safety by strength".)

The background pattern is the Crawford tartan, which comes in several styles:
style 1, style 2 (background), style 3, style 4.

A Summary from Wayne Crawford:

Originally, the name, "Crawford," identified an actual place in Lanarkshire, Scotland, "where the Clyde River winds down through the high moors of a marshy valley toward the Irish Sea." Clydesdale horses were bred on farms famous for their orchards and most of the land was valualble only for its minerals of coal and lead. "There, where the sandy gravel of the Clyde formed a shallow firm bottom for the river ...where the crows wheeled in the empty air over the open heather that stretched away toward the mountains, there the Crawford family began."

Johannes Crawford was the lord of the fief of Crawford and the earliest anscestor of the Crawford name.In the year 1140 he took as his own name that of the lands he held as a feudal baron. His decendents did the same. Sir Reginald de Crawford was the sheriff of Ayreshire in 1294. His sons founded the several branches of the Crawford family.(Dismukes 4). Sir David Lindsay became the first Earl of Crawford in 1398, and the coat of arms above derives from this period.

In 1790 when President George Washington authorized the first official national census, the average American Crawford family had 5.5 members. The 377 Crawford families were concentrated in Pennsylvania (107), New York (52), North Carolina(40), South Carolina (36), Conneticut (34), and Maryland (30). An additional 78 families lived in other states and 1,600 adult and single Crawfords were not included among these families. Most of these were frontier men and women (Dismukes 5).

A Summary from www.tartans.com:

The name Crawford is thought to be of Norman origin and is thought to have taken their name from the barony in Lanarkshire.

In 1127, Sir Gregan Crawford, helped save the live of the son of the Earl of Richmond, Reginald, who was a Norman knight. Sir Reginald Crawford was appointed sheriff to Ayr in 1296. His sister Margaret was the mother of Sir William Wallace, the famed patriot. The Crawfords rallied with Sir Wallace in his fight against English domination.

Main branches of this family also some from the family of the sheriff of Ayr -- they were known as "of Auchinames" and "of Craufurland". The Auchinames, who are thought to be the chief family, received a grant of their land in 1320 from Robert the Bruce.

During the 13th century Sir John of Crawford's daughter married David Lindsay, ancestor of the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres, the chiefs of Clan Lindsay. This is where the association between Crawford and Lindsay comes from.

A Summary from Electric Scotland:

The name Crawford or Crauford is territorial in origin, from Crawford in the upper reaches of Lanarkshire. The Crawford name appears early in Scottish documents, the first time being in the mid 12th century when John de Crauford witnessed Abbott Arnold's charter to Theobald Flamaticus of the lands on the Douglas Water. It is believed that he was a stepson of Baldwin de Bigir who also witnessed the charter. During the reign of William the Lion one Sir Reginald of Crawford was appoint ed Sheriff of Ayr, a demanding and powerful post which was one of the Offices of the Crown with administrative and financial duties as well as the responsibility for hearing appeals from Courts of Barony. His name, along with many other Crawford names, appears regularly in the charters and documents of 13th century Scotland; in 1297 another Sir Reginald Crawford was sheriff of Ayr. Three principle branches of the family spring from this time. In 1320 a brother of the second named Sheriff of Ayr received a grant of the lands of Auchinames from Robert the Bruce. The head of the family was accepted as being from this branch, the descendant of whom, Hugh Crawford, 21st of Auchinames, died in Canada in recent years having first sold his heritable property. A younger son of the first m entioned Sheriff of Ayr gave rise to the Crawfords of Craufurdland; his claim to this property was confirmed by Robert III in 1391. The third branch, that of Kilburnie, is derived from Sir John of Crawford, who acquired the e states of the same name in 1499. During the 13th century two Crawford women were to make significant marriages. The daughter of Sir John of Crawford married David Lindsay, ancestor of the Earls of Crawford and Balcarres, the chiefs of Clan Lindsay, a family with which many Crawfords still associate themselves. The second important marriage was that of Margaret Crawford, sister of the Sheriff of Ayr, in 1297; she married Sir Malcolm Wallace of Ellerslie and their son, William Wallace, was to prove himself as Scotland's greatest patriot. In 1781 a baronetcy was conferred on the senior line of Kilburnie.

Click here for Tartan Clans Historical Significance in Scotland.

Click here for a map detailing the Crawford location.

The Pittsburgh Crawfords

Here is a picture of the Pittsburgh Crawfords from 1935.

Return to Froney Crawford's Homepage