Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Cranfield Name
Origins of Cranfield:
Listed as Cranfield and sometimes Cranefield, this is an old English surname. It is geographical from the town of Cranfield in Bedfordshire, first listed in the eldest records of the year 969 A.D. as Cranfeldinga, or the open area (feld) visited by cranes. The crane bird has been a limited visitor to the British Islands for many centuries, but as there are some thirty places which have the prefix “cran,” this was clearly not so a thousand years ago. Geographical Surnames usually fall into two categories. They were either given to the king of the palace and his ancestors, or more frequently to people who departed from the place, and were given its name by their new neighbors wherever they settled, as an easy source of recognition. This type of nickname (surname) still continues, though it frequently was regionalized as in Jock, for a Scotsman. With Cran(e)field, the name would seem to be on both lists, with the first recording being that of Phillipa de Cranefeld of Bedfordshire in the Hundred Rolls of 1272, and Alexander de Crannefeld of Huntingdon, in the similar year. Both were landholders, the first interestingly being a woman. About one in twenty of such documentation related to women as landholders or heiresses. The name well noted in the city of London from an early date with examples like John Cranfeild at St James Clerkenwell in 1606, and Thomas Cranfield at St Dionis Backchurch, in 1611.
More common variations are: Cranefield, Crainfield, Cranfieldw, Cranfild, Crannefield, Cornfield, Granfield, Carnfield, Crinfield, Cranfeild, and Cranfill.
The surname Cranfield first appeared in Bedfordshire, placed in Southeast-central England, an earlier part of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, where they held a family seat from old times, some say well before the Norman invasion and the coming of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 AD. 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.
Many of the people with surname Cranfield had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Cranfield landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th and 18th. Some of the people with the name Cranfield who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Edward Cranfield, who arrived in Maryland in 1633. Edward and Anne Cranfield and their three sons, who came to Virginia in 1634. Thomas Cranfield at the age of 14, arrived in Virginia in 1635. Francis Cranfield, who came to Barbados in 1657.
The following century saw much more Cranfield surnames arrive. Some of the people with the surname Cranfield who arrived in the United States in the 18th century included Henry Cranfield, who settled in Virginia in 1721. William Cranfield, who came to Mississippi in 1799.
People with the surname Cranfield settled in Canada in the 19th century. Some of the people with the surname Cranfield who came to Canada in the 19th century included John Cranfield arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in the year 1833. John Cranfield arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1833 aboard the ship “Legatus” from London, England.
Some of the individuals with the surname Cranfield who landed in Australia in the 19th century included John Cranfield and Rachel Cranfield, both arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship “Emma” in the same year 1836.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Cranfield: England 1,457; United States 872; Australia 403; South Africa 219; Canada 211; New Zealand 107; Scotland 59; Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha 36; Ireland 33; Spain 18
Lionel Montague “Monty” Cranfield (1909-1993), was an English first-class cricket player.
Frankie Cranfield was an English watercolor artist.
Hamish Cranfield was an American actor and entertainer.
Pat Cranfield was an American stuntman.
Cranfield Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Cranfield blazon are the fleur-de-lis, eagle and talbot. The two main tinctures (colors) are or and azure.
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
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 . 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” .
The fleur-de-lys (“flower of the lily”) has a long and noble history and was a symbol associated with the royalty of France even before heraldry became widespread. . The Lily flower is said to represent “Purity, or whiteness of soul” and sometimes associated with the Virgin Mary. The fleur-de-lys is also used as a small “badge”, known as a mark of cadency to show that the holder is the sixth son of the present holder of the arms
Where the lion is undisputed king of the animals, the eagle undoubtedly plays the same role in the realm of the birds, its use in this form dating back to at least the Roman period . They tend to be illustrated in quite some detail, especially in continental European arms, and have almost as wide variety of postures and accessories as the lion, well illustrated in the reference as well as being just the eagle’s head or eagle’s leg. The symbology of the eagle is deep and complex, Wade devotes several pages to the subject , but suffice it say that it has long been associated with Empire and those held in high honour – any armiger would be pleased to have any form of Eagle upon their arms!
Many breeds of dog appear in coats of arms, reflecting their status as man’s closet companion. The talbot is a hunting dog akin to a terrier, and usually illustrated in a lifelike style and eager pose. In common with the other heraldic dogs, Wade suggests that their presence should suggest “courage, vigilance and loyal fidelity”. Others might say we need look no further than a pleasure in the hunt and the affection for this sturdy breed.