What is the origin of the last name Crawford?

The last name Crawford has its origins in Scotland, specifically from the lands near the River Clyde. The name is derived from the Old English words "crawa" meaning "crow" and "ford" referring to a river crossing, thus signifying the place name "crow ford." Over time, the name Crawford became established as a surname, indicating ancestors who resided near or had associations with a crow-filled river crossing in Scotland.

Countries of origin for the last name Crawford

The last name Crawford has its origins in Scotland, where it was derived from the place name Craufurd or Crawford, meaning “crow ford” or “ford where crows gather.” This toponymic surname indicates that the original bearers of the name resided near a ford frequented by crows. The surname Crawford is classified as a habitational name, which means it was given to individuals based on the location from which they came.

The surname Crawford is relatively common in Scotland and it is ranked as the 43rd most common surname in the country. It is also found in other English-speaking countries, including the United States. In terms of frequency, Crawford is considered to be more common as a last name compared to its variations, such as Crawfurd and Craufurd.

Crawford is an ancient Scottish surname, dating back to at least the 12th century. The first recorded instance of the surname can be traced back to 1178, where a William de Crauford is mentioned in historical records. Over the centuries, the surname Crawford gained prominence and spread both within and beyond Scotland.

The surname Crawford is associated with several notable individuals throughout history, including John Crawford, the American author and journalist; Joan Crawford, the Academy Award-winning American actress; and Michael Crawford, the British actor and singer. These individuals have contributed to various fields, showcasing the diverse impact those bearing the name have had on society.

Like many surnames, Crawford has variations in spelling and pronunciation. Some alternative spellings include Crafford, Craford, and Craufurd. These variations may be a result of regional dialects or changing orthographic conventions over time.

As a genealogist, uncovering the etymology and historical significance of surnames like Crawford offers a window into our ancestral past. While the origins and meaning of the surname are relatively well-documented, the individual stories and experiences of those who have carried the name throughout history remain a fascinating subject of exploration. Through further research and personal connections, we can continue to uncover new layers of meaning and enrich our understanding of the lives and legacies of the Crawfords.

Interesting facts about the last name Crawford

  • The surname Crawford is of Scottish origin.
  • It is derived from the Gaelic phrase “craw ford” which means “narrow crossing”.
  • The name initially referred to someone who lived near a narrow ford or bridge.
  • The Crawfords were historically a prominent clan in the Scottish lowlands.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Crawford include the Scottish actor Michael Crawford and the American actress Joan Crawford.
  • The name has various spelling variations such as Crauford, Craufurd, Craufuird, and Crawforth.
  • During the Middle Ages, the Crawfords were associated with the powerful Clan Lindsay.
  • Several locations in Scotland have connections to the Crawford name, including Crawfordjohn and Crawford Castle.
  • The Crawfords have a notable motto: “Tutum te robore reddam” meaning “I will give you safety with strength”.
  • The surname Crawford has spread beyond Scotland and can be found in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Name Rank


There are around 164457 people with the last name Crawford in the US

Related Names

Related Regions