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Craik Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Craik blazon are the ship, rose and jay. The three main tinctures (colors) are azure, sable and ver .

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2.

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 3. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 4. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 5.

We do not need to look far to find the symbolism in the presence of a ship in a coat of arms, they appear regularly in the arms of port towns and merchant companies and families. They usually appear as a three masted wooden vessel known as a lymphad 6 but are often described in some detail as to the disposition of their sails, presence and colours of flags and standards and so on. 7

Natural objects abound in heraldry, and one category that gives especial delight are the many flowers and flowering plants that frequently occur 8. The rose is also of this type, being drawn, at least a little, realistically and often to very pleasing effect. It has long been present in English heraldry, and as a badge and symbol played an enormous in English history throughout the conflict between rival dynasties known as the War of the Roses. In addition to these familial uses, Wade suggests that red roses signify “beauty and grace” and the white represents “love and faith”. 9

Birds of great variety occur throughout heraldry, at least in name 10. In truth, despite the proliferation of species, the actual depictions can sometimes be hard to distinguish! The crane, heron and stork are commonly to be found on a coat of arms but all tend to share the same stylised appearance 11. The jay is amongst the mjaor bird species to appear in heraldry.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Craik Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Craik Origin:


Origins of Craik:

It is of English geographical origin from a place in Norfolk named as Creake, noted differently as Creic, Creich, and Suthcreich in the Domesday Book of 1086. The latter relates to South Creak as different from North Creak. The name acquires from the Olde Welsh "Creic" which means rock. It is also possible that the name acquires from Crayke in the North Riding of Yorkshire, also noted as Creic in the Domesday Book, and thought to have same origins. The surname from this source was first listed in the second half of the 13th Century. The name Creak was especially well listed in Norfolk Parish Records from the late 16th Century onwards. In December 1580 one, Margaret Creak named in St. Mary's, South Walsham and in January 1584, Thomas Creak and Margary Leath married in West Rudham.


More common variations are: Craik, Craick, Craika, Crak, Crik, Chraika, Crawick, Crawiek, Craiq, Crick.


The surname Craik first appeared in Yorkshire where they held a family seat from old times. Craik is also a hamlet in Craik Forest, by the Airhouse Burn in the Scottish Borders.

The very first recording spelling of the family was shown to be that of Ralph Crake, dated about 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire." It was during the time of King Edward 1st, who was known to be the “The Hammer of the Scots," dated 1272-1307. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling variations of the original one.


Many of the people with surname Craik had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Individuals with the surname Craik landed in the United States in two different centuries respectively in the 18th, and 20th. Some of the people with the name Craik who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included James Craik, who landed in America in 1750

The following century saw much more Craik surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Craik who arrived in the United States in the 20th century included


Some of the individuals with the surname Craik who landed in Australia in the 19th century included Harriette Woodbridge Craik at the age of 30, who landed in America from London, in 1905. Mabel Craik at the age of 19, who landed in America from Edinburg, Scotland, in 1906. Harriette Craik at the age of 33, who shifted to America from London, England, in 1908. I. B. Craik, who moved to the United States, in 1911. Douglas E. Craik at the age of 15, who landed in the United States from London, England, in 1912.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Craik: England 667; Canada 567; Scotland 387; United States 383; Australia 271; El Salvador 258; South Africa 201; New Zealand 102; France 49; Wales 3.

Notable People:

Dinah Maria Craik (born Dinah Maria Mulock, also often recognized as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik) (April 1826–October 1887) was an English novel writer and poet.

Donald Craik (August 1931 – September 1985) was a leader in Manitoba, Canada. He was a Progressive Conservative representative of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba from 1966 to 1981 and gave services as a cabinet minister in the governments of Walter Weir and Sterling Lyon. He was born in Baldur, Manitoba, Craik trained at the University of Manitoba and the University of Minnesota, earning his Master of Science and Master of Education degrees.

Henry Craik (evangelist) (1805–1866), was a Scottish Hebraist and scholar.

Sir Henry Craik, 1st Baronet (1846–1927), was a Scottish representative of Parliament.

James Craik (1730–1814), was a Physician General of the United States Army.

John Craik-Henderson (1890–1971), was a British leader.

Kenneth Craik (1914–1945), was an English scholar and analyst.

Stephen Craik (born 1964), was a British DJ, artist, actor and rapper.

William Craik (1761–1814), was a United States Representative from Maryland.

Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Fraserburgh, 1672). Motto—Providence. Per fess az. and sa. a ship under sail or, masts, sails, and tacklings ppr. Crest—An anchor ppr.
2) (Colston-Pytte, co. York). (Ganton, Ryton, and Heslarton, co. York). Per fesse ar. and sa. a pale counterchanged, and three crosses of the second.
3) Ar. a fesse betw. three jays sa. Crest—An eagle’s leg erased at the thigh ppr.
4) (Scotland). Per fess ar. and vert, in chief three roses gu. in base a ship’s sails furled or.

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  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 3 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 4 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 5 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 6 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Shiop
  • 7 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P294
  • 8 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P262
  • 9 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P132-133
  • 10 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P233
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P164