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 2 (background),
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
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).
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.
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
Click here for a map detailing
the Crawford location.
The Pittsburgh Crawfords
Here is a picture of the Pittsburgh Crawfords from 1935.
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