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The Cranston (Cranstoun) Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: THOU SHALT WANT ERE I WANT (You shall want before I do)

Let me share with you the historical background of your family name, Cranston. Your family name has territorial origins from the Barony of Cranston in Midlothian. It is believed to have derived from an Anglo-Saxon term meaning “place of the crane,” a bird that is depicted on both the shield and crest of your noble family. Another theory suggests that it may refer to the dwelling place of Cran or Cren, which were recorded as forenames in Saxon chronicles. The first recorded member of your family was Elfrick de Cranstoun, who served as a witness to a charter by William the Lion to the Abbey of Holyrood around 1170. During the reign of Alexander II, Thomas de Craystoun generously donated lands around Paiston in East Lothian to the church.

The Cranstouns of that Ilk enjoyed prosperity until they became entangled in the political upheaval of the 1590s. Your ancestors, Thomas and John Cranston, were among those accused of treason for assisting the Earl of Bothwell in his attack on the palace of Holyrood House. In June 1600, Sir John Cranston of that Ilk was imprisoned for harboring forfeited traitors and only secured a chance to defend himself through the intervention of the King. On August 23 of the same year, another member of your family, Thomas Cranston, the brother of Sir John Cranston, was executed in Perth for his involvement in the Gowrie Conspiracy, which aimed to kidnap James VI. Nevertheless, Sir John Cranstoun of Morristoun, who served as James IV’s captain of the guard, was granted the title of Lord Cranstoun on November 17, 1609.

The third Lord Cranstoun fought alongside the Royalists during the Civil War and was captured at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. William, the fifth Lord Cranstoun, was present at the last sitting of the Scottish Parliament in 1703, where he supported the Treaty of Union. One of his descendants, George Cranstoun, a respected scholar and friend of Sir Walter Scott, frequently entertained the renowned author at his estate of Corehouse in Lanarkshire. James, the eighth Lord Cranstoun, served as an officer in the Royal Navy and commanded HMS Bellerophon during a battle on June 17, 1795, against a French fleet three times larger. However, the peerage became extinct in 1813. In 1950, Lieutenant Colonel Alistair Cranstoun of Corehouse was recognized as the chief of your family. He was a distinguished soldier, holder of the Military Cross, and served as a military attach√© in Lisbon. He passed away in 1990, and the current chief, your family’s present head, resides at Corehouse in Lanarkshire, continuing the rich legacy of the Cranston family.

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Family Crest Motto: THOU SHALT WANT ERE I WANT (You shall want before I do)

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